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Centre launches ‘Accessible India Campaign’ for persons with disabilities on December 3

Accessible Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan)

Centre launches ‘Accessible India Campaign'(Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) for persons with disabilities on December 3

On the occasion of “INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITiES,” Centre launched the “Accessible India Campaign”(SugamyaBharat Abhiyan) Which seeks to make at least 50 percent of government buildings in the national capital and all state capitals “fully accessible” for the disabled by July 2018.

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In an ambitious move that aims to enable persons with disabilities to gain universal access, equal opportunity for development, independent living and participation in all aspects of life in an inclusive society, the government today launched the “Accessible India Campaign” (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) which seeks to make at least 50 percent of all government buildings in the national capital and all state capitals “fully accessible” for the disabled by July 2018. According to the campaign, all the international airports(27) will be converted into fully accessible international airports by July 2016. All A1, A and B categories of railway stations(75) in the country will be converted into fully accessible railway stations by July 2016 and about 5000 public buildings would be retrofitted to make them accessible.

Another important initiative would be to make all government websites W3C complaint. This would mean that all websites would have a Textto-Speech feature which make them accessible to the visually impaired.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitely inaugurated the campaign at Vigyan Bhawan, was originally scheduled to be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, PM Narendra Modi had to visit Chennai for taking the stock of flood situation. Jaitely read out a message on behalf of PM. “Express regret on not being there physically, but with all of you in spirit. ”

Modi message 1

Jaitley also handed over National Awards to 52 individuals and institutions under fourteen broad categories. In this message, the Prime Minister(PM) stated that the proposed smart cities should have the provisions for full accessibility for person with disabilities. He added that all Central ministries and states should make all efforts to make “Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan” successful. Congratulating the 52 awardees the Prime Minister said that “we should consider replacing ‘Vikalang’ word with ‘Divyang” so as to bring about a change in the way we think about those with disabilities. The PM added that the slogan of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ will not reach fruition until all sections of the society, including the differently-abled, are made part of it.

Launching the campaign and presenting the awards, Jaitley said

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It’s is the society’s responsibility to take up the campaign in mission mode. Sugamya Bharat is a right step towards inclusive society, he said adding that accessibility for persons with disability to all infrastructure and activities should be one of the parameters of our development. He added that mass awareness should be created about issue of accessibility for these persons.

Jaitley futher said that when even a backache or a toothache can bog down many, it is difficult to imagine how people with certain limitations-either from birth or acquired later in life-who are part of the same society lead a normal life and make a place for themselves by the dint of their courage.

Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Thaawarchad Gehlot said 

The government has taken a number of initiatives for the empowerment of persons with disabilities which include scholarships separate institute for deaf and dumb persons and development of new braille language. He stated that the government has also decided to set up a social University for the persons with disabilities with the cost of Rs 1,700 crore. It will start functioning with next academic year.

Main theme of Accessible Indian Campaign

  • By July 2018,this campaign main aim is at least 50 percent of all the government buildings of National capital and all the State capitals will be made fully accessible for persons with disabilities.
  • All the international airports in the Country and railway stations of A1, A & B categories fully accessible to the disabled by July 2016.
  • According to the campaign drafted by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, at least 10 percent of government owned public transport carriers in the country will be converted into fully accessible carriers for differently abled by March 2018.
  • It will hopes that at least 50 percent of all public documents issued by the Union Government and the State Government meet accessibility standards for persons with the disabilities by March 2018.
  • The Union Government also takes an decision to set up a special university for persons with disabilities with the cost of 1700 crore rupees.

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