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Kerala launches first phase of Accessible India Campaign

Posted in General

March 12, 2019

The government of Kerala has been taking some important steps to promote
inclusion, be it at the workplace, in tourism and education. In 2018, the
government launched the Barrier Free Tourism Project that
aims to make over 100 tourist locations across the state
accessible and disabled-friendly. Last week, the government completed the
first phase of this project and now state capital
Thiruvananthapuram is all set to be made accessible for disabled
people under the Accessible India Campaign.

The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities
under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has
started working towards making 51 places across the district accessible. The
organizations Samarthayam that works towards creating
accessible spaces will do the audit for spaces that needs to be made

Sindhu Sudevan, President, All Kerala Wheelchair
Rights Federation (AKWRF)
says it is high time the the district is
made accessible so people with disabilities can do things things

Just because we are on a wheelchair, it does nt mean that we do not have
dreams and aspirations. Even we would love to go to a beach and experience
waters. Ministers in the state have claimed that the district is 60%
accessible. But it is not and I hope this new project under the Accessible
India Campaign will make things easier for us. We want places to be
accessible for the future generations of disabled people. They must be able
to do things independently. – Sindhu Sudevan, President, All Kerala
Wheelchair Rights Federation, Thiruvananthapuram

The works will be carried out in two phases under the guidance
and monitoring of the department. To begin with, authorities aim to make
government buildings accessible. Over 28 buildings in the
district have been shortlisted for that. Reportedly, over Rs eight
has been kept aside for the construction works. Of this Rs four
crore has already been released.

Apart from government buildings, popular places like parks, museums and zoos
in the district will also get a revamp. They will be fully made accessible
for people with all kinds of disabilities. Authorities have also put forward
plans to make footpaths and traffic intersections accessible for disabled

Rajesh S, who is based in Thiruvananthapuram, is hopeful the
campaign will address the gaps in accessibility.

“Most of the government buildings in Thiruvananthapuram have wheelchair
ramps and this is something the state government has been successful at.
Also, the government has introduced a new law under which all the new
upcoming buildings and those under construction must be made accessible. This
is a great initiative”, says Rajesh, who is with the AKWRF.

Kerala truly shines light to accessibility under Chief Minister
Pinarayi Vijayan
. The state has implemented projects and schemes for
disabled people without any delays or hassles. Hopefully, other states can
follow suit

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