Dmitry Bibikow using his homemade elevator, pic courtesy of the Daily Mail.
The week before last we told you about accessibility issues on the St. Petersburg, Russia metro. It turns out this is not the only problem facing our Russian friends with disabilities on a daily basis. Dmitry Bibikow of Voronezh had been assured before he purchased his council flat that an elevator would be installed to make his fifth-floor apartment accessible. After six years of waiting–during which he required the help of friends or family to get in and out of his apartment–Bibikow decided to take matters into his own hands. He tells the Daily Mail:
‘Living on the fifth floor without a lift was a nightmare because I couldn’t get in or out of the block without someone’s help.
‘It was like being in a prison – so I decided to sort it out myself.’
With a little the help from his friends, the former sky diver and mountaineer built his own personal lift to haul him up the side of the building.
When not being used, the winch stays up on the fifth floor. It can be lowered by hand or electronically from ground level.
Now Mr Bibikow,married and a father of one, says he can get in and out within minutes and can even beat his neighbours to the fifth floor.
Bibikow’s mountaineering history put him in a unique position to construct and use his ingenuous contraption. However, Russians with disabilities should not have to resort to this level of creativity and resourcefulness to simply enter and leave their homes. BlazeSports looks forward to our continued work in Russia, and can’t wait to help increase the cultural visibility of these sorts of issues.