Accessible India Campaign
From our Staff Correspondent
Dibrugarh, July 24: Shishu Sarothi, Guwahati, an NGO working in the disability sector, on Monday conducted access audit of the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Dibrugarh, in an endeavour to examine the built environment to identify the barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from having full accessibility, and to recommend solutions for adaptation / retro-fitting to make the same accessible.
The access audit was conducted for all the buildings in the DC office premise in due presence of the PWD officials of Dibrugarh. Amvalika Sepati, the access auditor from Shishu Sarothi, observed that the presence of the PWD officials was indeed important as they were the authority concerned who could ensure effective implementation of the audit report, which was crucial to guarantee that all retro-fittings were truly accessible. Post the access audits, the PWD officials were also given a short training on built-environment accessibility and the importance of the various accessibility features required for people with different types of disabilities.
With the new disability law, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 coming into force on April 19, 2017, it has become mandatory for all existing public buildings to be made accessible within 5 years from date of notification of rules and it is imperative that all public buildings have to take necessary steps to ensure accessibility as mandated.
Earlier in April, 2017, Shishu Sarothi had conducted a Disability Equity Training for officials from various departments in collaboration with the Deputy Commissioner Office, Dibrugarh. In the said meeting, Laya Madduri, Deputy Commissioner, had called upon all present to take responsibility for ensuring accessibility in their respective offices and departments, so that public spaces could be created where everyone could come freely. She had also observed that accessibility should at least be ensured in about 20-30 important district offices and also all the Block and GP offices. DC Madduri has now set an example for others to follow in the district by ensuring audit of the DC office premise.
Accessible India Campaign is a tionwide flagship campaign of the Government of India for achieving universal accessibility for persons with disabilities and to create an ebling and barrier free environment, with a focus on three verticals of built-environment accessibility, transportation system accessibility and information and communication eco-system accessibility. Amongst others, 48 cities across India have been selected (including Guwahati in Assam) for conducting access audits and retro-fittings thereafter to make buildings accessible.
In an endeavour to take forward the Accessible India Campaign to rural areas and district headquarters in Assam, Shishu Sarothi has been advocating with Deputy Commissioners of various districts towards making public buildings accessible. Assam is 86 per cent rural and it is important to have barrier-free environment for persons with disabilities outside and beyond the cities too.
Shishu Sarothi has so far also conducted access audits of the offices of the Deputy Commissioners for Goalpara, Kamrup (metro) and Kamrup, besides other public buildings and those selected under the Accessible India Campaign in Guwahati.
Shishu Sarothi conducts access audit of Dibrugarh DC office
Accessible India Campaign