NCPEDP honorary director Javed Abidi said: “There should not be two separate standards — one for people with disabilities and another for those without disabilities. This approach is inappropriate as it excludes people with disabilities. Disability access should be integrated into the regular standards.’’
The NCPEDP has strongly suggested that the entire NBC should be reviewed to make it contemporary, comprehensive and inclusive. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 15 per cent of the population lives with some form of disability. This estimate is on the rise due to population ageing and rapid spread of chronic diseases. Since the infrastructure in the country is just not suited for the, they remain dependent and unable to achieve their full potential to become contributing citizens of the country.
The Disability Act was passed in 1995, which clearly mandates that public roads, buildings and transportation should be made barrier-free for persons with disabilities.
“However, implementation has been very poor. India also ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007, where accessibility is recognised as a basic human right and as an essential prerequisite for accessing all other human rights. India recently launched Sugamya Bharat [Accessible India campaign] to promote accessibility in the country targeting 48 cities,” noted Mr. Abidi.