Kerala

₹600-cr. projects to make Kerala barrier-free: CM

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan greeted by children when he arrived to inaugurate the silver jubilee of the National Institute of Speech and Hearing in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan greeted by children when he arrived to inaugurate the silver jubilee of the National Institute of Speech and Hearing in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the government has planned several projects worth ₹600 crore to transform Kerala into a barrier-free State.

While the ongoing and upcoming infrastructure development projects would include provision to ensure accessibility, existing buildings would be renovated to meet the requirement. Public spaces, including offices, institutions and tourist destinations, would have to become differently abled-friendly to attain the goal, he said, inaugurating the silver jubilee of the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) here on Tuesday.

New facility

Mr. Vijayan announced that a national centre for assistive health technology would be established at NISH. While the service of the proposed centre would be extended to all districts, the facility would help raise awareness among the differently-abled of assistive technology that was vital in helping them to lead a normal life.

Elaborating on a host of initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life of differently-abled people, he said early intervention centres would be opened across the State to benefit hearing-impaired children. He said the State’s first bilingual school for the hearing- and speech-impaired people would be opened soon.

While pledging support towards efforts to equip NISH with modern facilities, the Chief Minister said an amount of ₹18.93 crore had been earmarked to launch higher education foundation and neurodevelopmental science programmes at the institution.

University status

Presiding over the function, Social Justice Minister R. Bindu said the government was exploring the possibility of elevating NISH to the status of a university by coalescing it with the National Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (NIPMER) in Thrissur.

Mr. Vijayan formally inaugurated the Centre for Research in Communication Sciences; Safal Sensorium, a sensory park; and a Scientific Research Cell for the differently-abled, and declared NISH as a barrier-free environment campus. He also released the ‘Accessible Book’ brought out by the institution for the differently abled.

Honoured

Two NISH alumni, Parvathy A.S. and Lekshmi A.S., twins who surmounted several odds to clear the Engineering Services Examination 2021, were felicitated during the function.

Kadakampally Surendran, MLA; Thiruvananthapuram Mayor Arya Rajendran; and NISH executive director M. Anjana were also present.


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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 3:34:39 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/600-cr-projects-to-make-kerala-barrier-free-cm/article65423214.ece