Accessibility Still A Major Challenge For Differently-Abled In Guwahati
GUWAHATI: Even as the central government had set the timeline for implementing the Accessible India Campaign or Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan by 2016, Guwahati is still lagging behind in implementing the scheme.
Differently-abled persons residing in Guwahati feel that the city has a long way to go in terms of infrastructure before it becomes friendly for them. They say that lack of accessibility is a huge challenge due to which they are unable to navigate public spaces with ease.
A lot of public institutions and important government offices lack the required infrastructure to support persons with disabilities. The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, provides for statutory requirements to provide barrier-free environment to persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others. However, many government buildings and public places continue to violate the provisions of the Act.
Nripen Malakar, secretary of Pratibandi Suraksha Sangstha, Assam (PSSA), an NGO which works for the rights of differently-abled persons, told G Plus, “We have requested the commissioner for persons with disabilities in Assam to ensure that the Accessible India campaign is properly implemented in Assam at the earliest so as to provide some relief to us.”
He added, “If a person is unable to even enter a majority of government offices since they don’t have ramps or railings, then what is the use?”