Nearly 2.68 crore differently abled people in the country have a reason to cheer with the government deciding to make all airports, major railway stations and 4,000 key buildings disabled friendly. As part of its Accessible India campaign, 75 A1, A and B category railway stations and International airports will be made disabled friendly by July 2016, while domestic terminals by July 2019.
The initiative will begin with the identification of public places that are inaccessible to the differently abled and need minor structural changes, including ramps for wheelchairs or tactile strips and braille signage for the visually challenged. Under the campaign, which has three components – Accessible Environment, Transport and Information and Communication Accessibility. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will conduct an access audit of at least 100 important government buildings in 48 cities and convert them into fully accessible infrastructure for the differently abled by July, 2016.
“We have selected 48 cities in this country and asked the state governments to give us the list of 100 buildings in each of these cities. We will make all these 4,800 buildings accessible through retro fitting after doing an access audit”, said Mukesh Jain, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Public transport including railways stations, airports and buses will be covered in the second section of the campaign.
“Transport system is absolutely inaccessible in this country. While all international airports have been decided to be made accessible by July 2016, domestic airports will be done by July 2019. A1, A and B category of railways stations, which are 75 in number will be improvised to make them disabled friendly by the same period (2016)”, he said, adding that 25 per cent of the buses will also be included in the Transport Accessible campaign.
For facilitating increased access to information to the differently abled people, 3,000 out of 6,000 people centric websites, including passport services, will be made disabled friendly. “The target will ensure conversion into disabled friendly information public documents, such as laws, regulations and reports, and all current websites to meet the relevant International Organization for Standardization”, Jain said.
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