Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan)

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    26th Dec, 2019

Context

The Accessible India Campaign also known as the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan was launched in 2015 by Prime Minister. The project that aimed to make the country accessible for people with disabilities is yet to meet its target. The government has announced that deadline of Accessible India campaign has been extended.

About

  • Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) is a nation-wide Campaign launched by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment to provide universal accessibility to persons with disabilities.
  • The campaign aims at providing equal opportunity to persons with disabilities to participate in all the aspects of life and live independently. The Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan focuses on developing accessible physical environment, transportation system and Information & communication ecosystem.
  • The Government of India with firm commitment towards socio-economic transformation of the persons with disabilities is making efforts to create mass awareness for universal accessibility.
  • India is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Components of Accessible India Campaign

Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) has the following three important components

  • Built Environment Accessibility
  • Transportation System Accessibility
  • Information and Communication Eco-System Accessibility

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

  • To develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public;
  • To ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services which are open or provided to the public take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities;
  • To provide training for stakeholders on accessibility issues facing persons with disabilities;
  • To provide in buildings and other facilities open to the public signage in Braille and in easy to read and understand forms;
  • To provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guidelines, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other facilities open to the public;
  • To promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons with disabilities to ensure their access to information;
  • To promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet.

Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995

  • Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 under Sections 44, 45 and 46 categorically provides for non-discrimination in transport, non-discrimination on the road and non-discrimination in built environment respectively.

As per Section 46 of the PwD Act, the States are required to provide for –

  • Ramps in public buildings;
  • Adaptation of toilets for wheel chair users;
  • Braille symbols and auditory signals in elevators or lifts;
  • Ramps in hospitals, primary health centres and other medical care and rehabilitation institutions

Section 44 and 45 of the said Act cast responsibility on the States to take measures to make public transport accessible for PwDs and also make provision for auditory signals at red lights in public roads, curb cuts and slops in pavements, engraving on the surface at zebra crossings etc.

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