Ar. Abhishek Kumar
Assistant Director, Delhi Development Authority
Accessible India Campaign:- Reshaping the infrastructure
Accessible India Campaign is a recent initiative by the Government of India. With many other Disabled friendly policies, under this scheme, new and existing buildings are also being made disabled friendly, so that they can be accessed by everyone.
Even though,as per 2011 census , only 2.2 percent of our country’s population is disabled, if we consider the total number of people, it becomes 2.5 crores. Apart from that, it is a common misconception among the general public that only handicapped people are disabled.But in actual, Anyone can be disabled at any point of time.A fully able person can face problems climbing upstairs in old age.A young and fit person may be disabled temporarily due to injury or some other reasons.However, it is mostly assumed that since there are just 2 percent disabled people, so it is uneconomical and unnecessary to construct accessibility provisions in the buildings.
With Accessible India campaign, the government is now creating the awareness and making its policies disabled friendly.Norms have now been modified to cater to the provisions of accessibility in the construction of new buildings. Existing buildings are also being modified so that they are accessible.
The government has set up many proposed milestones related to this campaign and is continuously monitoring it.In spite of it, due to some reasons the progress has been slow. However, the effect of it has started to become visible. Most of the existing public buildings and transport systems have already implemented it.Very soon, the project will be completed and the infrastructure will be totally reshaped.
There are some issues related to the execution of the project.Even though the accessibility provisions are made ,still due to lack of proper specifications and workmanship ,sometimes the building remain inaccessible.Sometimes, The ramp are with too high slope, tactile tiles are placed wrongly, the height of certain components are incorrect etc.It is also required to do a proper audit of the buildings once the accessibility provisions are made.
To encourage public participation, Government of India has also created a website (http://accessibleindia.gov.in) where the common public can report inaccessible spaces so that action may be taken on it.Public is also encouraged by featuring their names on the website and issuing them E-certificates.