Marina to have barrier-free approach

Activists permitted to build temporary pathway for Christmas, New Year and Pongal

December 24, 2021 09:17 pm | Updated 09:18 pm IST - CHENNAI

A smooth passage: The Greater Chennai Corporation and the activists have started work on improving the access to the Marina beach for people with disabilities.

A smooth passage: The Greater Chennai Corporation and the activists have started work on improving the access to the Marina beach for people with disabilities.

The Greater Chennai Corporation has permitted disability rights activists and non-governmental organisations to develop a temporary pathway for persons with disabilities on the Marina beach during Christmas, New Year and Pongal season.

Work on the development of an approach along a 720-feet stretch near Queen Mary’s College started on Friday. The pathway will be eight-foot wide. More locations are likely to get such facilities.

Senthil Kumar, an art director who is developing the structure on the Marina, said many children with disabilities will get an opportunity to beach next week. The event “Monday @ Marina” will be organised near the Namma Chennai selfie point from December 27 to January 2 for persons with disabilities. The civic body is planning to permit more disability rights activists to launch such projects ahead of Pongal.

Smitha Sadasivan, Member, Disability Rights Alliance Tamilnadu (DRA-TN), said the inaccessible environment was restricting the equal participation of persons with disabilities in society. “COVID-19 has added immensely to the barriers and made persons with disabilities completely home bound. During this period, many lacked necessary factors ranging from therapies to education to livelihood and many eventually got into depression. Leisure and socialisation being key to everyone’s mental health was a lost opportunity for us.”

“GCC’s pathway at Marina gives fresh hope to all of us, a hope that we would love to see materialise into permanent access for all at both Marina and Elliot’s beaches,” said Ms. Sadasivan.

Deepak Nathan, State president of the December 3 Movement, said it was important that tourist places were made accessible to people with disabilities. “It has to be a permanent structure. Nature is for all and sea is for all and so are forests and waterfalls. Human experience of disability will have to be minimised and that be a collective responsibility of the State to do so in line with UNCRPD and RPWD Act 2016,” he said.

The coastal regulations have to be considerate to build a permanent structure on the beach with green approach so that not just persons with disabilities but even senior citizens have access to the beach as it has an therapeutic value. “Access to the beach is not access alone but it is essential to have positive health and confidence for persons with disabilities,” said Mr. Deepak.

Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said the civic body planned to provide a permanent approach to the Marina beach sands for persons with disabilities.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.