The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment on Thursday launched
Accessible India campaign to make public buildings, public
transportation, signage accessible to Persons with Disabilities.
Four cities from Maharashtra including Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, and Nashik will figure in the list of cities for the Accessible India campaign, also christened the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan.
India is a signatory to the UN Convention in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) to take appropriate measures to ensure to accessibility to the Persons with Disabilities. The three-year-old Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, which comes under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, has launched the campaign to improve accessibility for the disabled in physical environment, public transportation, information and communication and knowledge.
Mr. Gehlot said of the estimated 26.8 million Persons with Disabilities, less than half have been provided with disability certificates. “It is duty of government to provide help to the Persons with Disabilities. We are trying to resolve their problems. We don’t have exact information about the number of disabled people in our country. The number available in the 2011 census is superficial. They also face problems in obtaining the disability certificate, which sometimes is not considered valid in another district or state,” Mr. Gehlot said.
Stating that the present definition of disability was not inclusive enough covering only seven types of disabilities, Mr Gehlot said, the government has decided to increase the number of disabilities to 19 from the present 7, in a bid to expand the pool of beneficiaries and make it more inclusive.
Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, who was also present at the campaign inauguration, assured full assistance to the campaign from his government. “In our country, we had many rules for the disabled citizens but there was not a system to implement those. We will make this campaign our mission and will assure that they get their rights. In democracy, the government is responsible for their well being,” he said.
Actor Vivek Oberoi has also extended his support to the campaign and was present at the campaign launch though it is unclear if he would be the ambassador for the campaign.
Source : The Hindu , 26th Sep 2015