Delhi

Vigyan Bhawan, AIIMS, Feroz Shah Kotla… can’t go anywhere

Two key buildings in Delhi — Vigyan Bhawan and Social Welfare Department (GNCTD) — are inaccessible to people with disabilities.Ironically, the President presents national awards to differently-abled  persons at Vigyan Bhawan and the Social Welfare Department is a two-storey building meant for their welfare, says  physician and disability rights activist Satendra Singh, summing up the state of inclusion of accessibility for the differently-abled in the Capital.Speaking about his own “struggle”, Dr. Singh, who has 70% orthopaedic disability, says: “I have to travel 4 km from GTB Hospital (his office) to Suryanagar to use the post office as the one on the hospital campus is on the first floor and there is no lift. I have to file a case in Disability Court against my Medical Director to make the post office and bank accessible.”The lack of access to essential services remains a source of discrimination and lost opportunities for the disabled, says the doctor.The list of inaccessible buildings in the Capital includes premier hospitals as well.

 

Despite my petition, AIIMS Delhi remains inaccessible to people with disabilities. The New Delhirailway station doesn’t have a lift connecting to the platforms and escalators are not disabled-friendly. Though there are low-floor buses, have you ever seen a wheelchair-user travelling in them,’’ he asks.Most irritating, he says, is the fact that entertainment is beyond the reach of the disabled. “Neither cinema halls nor Firoz Shah Kotla is accessible,’’ he says.Inaccessibility is not restricted to wheelchair-users only, says disability rights lawyer and access consultant Subhash Chandra Vashishth.According to him, to realise the mandate of inclusive and accessible public infrastructure, all public spaces need to be conceived, designed and developed keeping diversity of users in mind.Dr. G.N. Karna, a research officer and honorary president of the Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, says there is a need to improve the monitoring of implementation of various policies, including the yet-to-be notified Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 10:10:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/vigyan-bhawan-aiims-feroz-shah-kotla-cant-go-anywhere/article17378276.ece

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