March 7, 2019
The government of Kerala had initiated the Barrier Free Tourism
Project that aims to make all prominent tourist locations in the
state accessible and disabled friendly. On 4 March, the state government
celebrated completion of its first phase, making 70 tourism
The event was inaugurated by Kadakampally Surendran,
Kerala Minister for Co- Operation, Tourism and Devaswom.
People from the disabled community, activists and representatives from NGOs
took part in the event that was held at the state capital in
The government of Kerala introduced ‘Barrier Free Project’ last year.
They aim to make over 200 tourist destinations disabled friendly
and accessible by the year 2021. Beaches, museums and parks are included in
the list. Popular beaches like Munakkal Azhikode and Alleppy
have already been made accessible by introducing wheelchair ramps and
disabled friendly washrooms to name a few of the new facilities.
Rupesh Kumar, Co-ordinator,
Responsible Tourism Mission says work is going on making
other tourist attractions accessible.
We are still working on making almost all the tourism places in Kerala
accessible and disabled friendly. We are also ensuring that we do not leave
any stone unturned to introduce all features for the comfort of disabled
people. We are taking opinions and studying what disabled people need
because they know what their requirements are. Accessible tourism packages
will also be introduced.- Rupesh Kumar, Co-ordinator, Responsible
Reportedly, Kerala will be the first state in India to successfully implement
the Barrier Free Tourism Project, an initiative that has been put forward by
World Tourism Organization. The efforts taken by the government was lauded by
people with disabilities who took part in the event.
Rajesh S, Vice-President, All Kerala Wheelchair
Rights Federation (AKWRF), an NGO that works for the empowerment of
wheelchair users in the state, says the initiative reaches out to people of
all disability types, not just wheelchair users.
“As far as we know, wheelchair ramps are introduced along with Braille
signage, audio clippings and even guides who will reach out to disabled
tourists”, said Rajesh. “Four to five wheelchairs will be kept at all popular
destinations so that those who do not come with their wheelchair can use it.
Washrooms will also be made disabled friendly. Now, more people with
disabilities can enjoy tourist locations:.
Kerala is known for its lush greens and serene landscape. Popularly called
‘God’s Own Country’, introduction of accessible tourism is definitely
going to boost the economy of the state.
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