New Delhi: The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is having the commitment to uphold the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and to ensure the accessible and inclusive assets are created in the country. Chairing the ‘1st Sensitization Meeting of Stakeholders to make Delhi a Model Accessible City’ here today, Shakuntala D. Gamlin, Secretary, DEPwD said that the Department has taken up the initiative to coordinate the meeting of all key stakeholders, sensitize them about the legal mandates and would hold a supervisory role in this entire journey.
Secretary, DEPwD said that Delhi being the capital city of the country is proposed to be selected for this drive. The rationale for selecting Delhi is that it is assuming increasing eminence among the great cities of the world.
Growing at an unprecedented pace, the city needs to be able to integrate its elegant past as well as the modern developments into an organic whole, which demands a purposeful transformation of the socio-economic, natural and built environment.
Due to daily influx of visitors and representatives from different parts of the country, a capital city which is also a prime example of “Barrier-free environment” and “Inclusivity”, would enhance the visibility of the campaign and would also serve as a replicable model for others to follow.
Apart from critical issues such as land, physical infrastructure, transport, ecology and environment, housing, socio-cultural and other institutional facilities, the cornerstone for making Delhi an Accessible city is the planning process itself and related aspects of governance and management. '
This needs a coordinated and integrated approach amongst several stakeholders and participatory planning involved with providing services such as Health, Education, Banking, Recreation, Sports etc. The process will commence with: Identification of important built-spaces, public transport infrastructure, services, recreational areas, tourist sites etc. in Delhi; Categorization of the infrastructure and spaces; and Selection of the key executing bodies.
It is a well-established fact that disability is caused by the way society is organised, and not the person’s limitations and impairments. The physical, social, structural and attitudinal barriers prevent People with Disabilities (PwDs) from participating equally in the socio-cultural and economic activities.
A barrier-free environment facilitates equal participation in all the activities and promotes an independent and dignified way of life. India ratified United Nations Conventions on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) 2007. This convention required that India make a number of changes to its laws, policies, regulations, notifications, programs, and schemes. As a part of the process of bringing the legal instruments of India into compliance with the UNCRPD, the process of enacting a new legislation in place of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 (PWD Act, 1995) began in 2010.
Meanwhile, Accessible India Campaign (AIC) was launched on December 3, 2015, and subsequently the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016 was enacted replacing the PWD Act 1995. The AIC has the vision to build an inclusive society in which equal opportunities are provided for the growth and development of PwDs so that they can lead productive, safe and dignified lives. As a nation-wide flagship campaign for creating universal accessibility for PwDs in Built Environment, Transport system, and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) eco-system, objectives were set up to enhance the proportion of accessible government buildings, accessible public transport and accessible websites.
Further, RPwD Act 2016 mandates that all the Establishments/institutions should ensure barrier-free spaces and services for the rightful inclusion of PwDs in the society. The Act lays stress on non-discrimination, full and effective participation and inclusion in society, respect for difference and acceptance of disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity, equality of opportunity, accessibility and equality. Section 40- 46 of RPwD Act 2016, lays down clear mandates, timelines and punitive actions to foresee the vision of the creation of accessible environment and services for all.
- Delhi Government and related agencies
- Department of Social Welfare, Delhi
- Directorate of Health (Hospitals, Health Centres)
- Directorate of Education (Schools)
- Directorate of Higher Education (Higher education Instt.)
- Art, Culture and Language Department (Theatres, drama schools etc.)
- Delhi Transport Corporation (Bus fleets and Depots)
- Municipal Corporation of Delhi
- New Delhi Municipal Council
- Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board
- Delhi Metro Rail Corporation
- PWD, Delhi
- Home Department (Police Stations/ Judiciary)
- Tourism Department
- Delhi Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (Bus stops, Interstate terminals etc)
- Urban Development Department
- Delhi Police(police stations)
2. Central Government
- Reserve Bank of India
- Ministry of Finance (Banks/ATMs)
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
- Ministry of Home Affairs (Police stations)
- Ministry of Culture (ASI)
- Ministry of Tourism
- Ministry of Communications (India Post)
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
- Ministry of Human Resource Development
- Delhi Cantonment
- Delhi Development Authority
a. Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, New Delhi
b. State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Delhi