MeitY working to make Aarogya Setu app accessible to persons with disabilities, says official

Aarogya Setu has been India's fastest-growing app across categories. It crossed 100 million downloads in May, and continues to be the #1 app on Google Play Store.
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The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is working to make Aarogya Setu app accessible to persons with disabilities (PwDs), according to a top official from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

"This is, in fact, the domain of Meity (Ministry of Electronics and IT). We have already written twice to the MeitY requesting them to make the Aarogya Setu app accessible (to PwDs). They are working on it, and we are hopeful that soon, this app will become accessible... We are making our efforts, ultimately it has to be done by MeitY," said Prabodh Seth, Joint Secretary, under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DePwD).

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He was speaking at an Assocham webinar on 'Best Practices on Diversity and Inclusion during COVID-19,'

The Assocham release further said Seth also talked about quarantine centres' accessibility which has been mentioned in the comprehensive disability-inclusive guidelines circulated to all states.

Earlier in May, the Aarogya Setu Interactive Voice Response System has been implemented to the app to include citizens with feature phones and landline connections under the ambit of the Aarogya Setu mobile application, the Union Health Ministry said. It urged people to download the application for combating COVID-19.

The Aarogya Setu Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS)' is a toll-free service, available across the country, wherein citizens can give a missed call to the number '1921.'

The toll-free service is implemented in 11 regional languages similar to the mobile application.

India's state-owned contact tracing app Aarogya Setu has crossed 30 million users on JioPhone, the 4G-enabled feature phone built by Reliance Jio.

A special version of the app, which is compatible with KaiOS (JioPhone's operating system), was launched on five million handsets less than a month ago, according to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

Aarogya Setu, which launched in early April on Android and iOS, has been India's fastest-growing app across categories. It crossed 100 million downloads in May, and continues to be the #1 app on Google Play Store.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

Edited by Suman Singh

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