Indian government to undertake disability audit of public buildings
Asia-Pacific, News, April 21 2016
NEW DELHI: Several public buildings in the National Capital Region (NCR) will soon be audited to know how accessible they are for persons with disabilities.
The audit will be carried by non-governmental organisations under the Accessible India Campaign, which was launched by the Centre on World Disability Day on December 3 last year. The exercise will also be undertaken in 30 other cities.
“We want to create an environment where persons with disabilities get access to equal opportunities, live independently, and participate fully in all aspects of life,” a senior official of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said.
According to activists, ‘accessibility’ has become a matter of grave concern for not just the purported 2 per cent of the population, which falls in the category of “disabled”, but also for children, senior citizens and pregnant women.
According to Sminu Jindal, the founder of Svayam – an organisation that works for the promotion of inclusive and barrier-free public infrastructure for people with reduced mobility – about 50 buildings in Delhi, Gurgaon and Faridabad will be audited in the next two months. These include important government offices such as Shastri Bhawan, the Supreme Court, two regional transport offices at Dwarka and various government hospitals in the Capital. The audit will also cover various railway stations in Faridabad and metro stations in Gurgaon.
“We will try and audit two buildings a day. Five teams of architects, civil engineers, auditors, and persons with disabilities have been constituted for the purpose,” said Ms. Jindal.
A senior government official said the department aimed to make 50 per cent of all government buildings in all the State Capitals fully accessible.
Shastri Bhawan, Supreme Court, two regional transport offices at Dwarka and various government hospitals in the Capital will be covered