Whereas you and I, the common people of India may have taken Mr Narendra Modi very seriously and may have given him a thumping majority in the 2014 general elections, but almost two years down the line, it seems that his own party colleagues are not taking some of the initiatives taken by the Prime Minister seriously and are not giving too much attention to them. Whereas the Prime Minister’s initiative of accessible India was launched with a lot of fanfare and created hope among persons with disabilities that they will now be able to visit place of their choice with ease, the process of identifying buildings to be made accessible for these people has been a non-starter with many states not even sending the list of government buildings, which they plan to make accessible in times to come. Further, some of the key states, which have failed to fulfil his dream of accessible India are governed by his own party, the BJP like Madhya Pradesh, Gujraat and Chhattisgarh.
While 48 cities across India have been asked to make 25 to 50 buildings accessible, there has been no response from at least 20 cities in this regard.
Most of these cities while not forwarding a list of government buildings to be made accessible, point out that before they send their report to the centre, they will have to conduct an accessibility audit and with no professional disability auditors available in India to take-up this job, this is proving to be a hard task. Since these auditors need to have the knowledge about architect as well as disability, it is very hard to find them in India.
Whereas those associated with the disability movement want the process of making the government building accessible to move at a good pace so that persons with disabilities can visit all of them with ease, many of them have been disappointed by the way the wok has progressed in this direction. They point out that the manner in which many state governments have not even identified buildings to be made accessible, goes to show that they are not really serious about the welfare of persons with disabilities.
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