Make govt buildings accessible to differently-abled, states told

New Delhi, June 24: The Central Advisory Board on Disability has asked all states and Union territories to assess by July end public buildings that are to be made accessible for the differently-abled people in the “shortest possible time”, under the Accessible India Campaign.
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, had given the governments five years time ending June 14 to make all existing public buildings accessible for the community, but so far, only 585 state and 1,030 central government buildings have been made barrier-free.
An official said the board, which met on Friday, has asked the states to draw an action plan to make such buildings accessible within the shortest possible time and that the ones providing education, health and other public utility services need to be upgraded on priority.
The states and Union territories were advised to assess the public buildings by July 31 and submit the proposal seeking extension of time, if needed, to the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities with justification and a detailed action plan, the official said.
Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar urged the states to speed up implementation of the Accessible India Campaign, also called ‘Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan’.
The board also deliberated upon various important issues in the disability sector, such as the implementation of various schemes and welfare measures for the community.
Kumar said around 75 lakh unique disability cards have been generated across the country.
The board also took note of the initiatives taken by the central government during the last two years, according to a statement.
The Central Advisory Board urged all the states and Union territories to expeditiously notify the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, constitute state advisory boards, district level committees, designate district level courts, appoint independent commissioners for persons with disabilities.
They were advised to upscale the pace of implementation of Unique Disability ID project so as to achieve saturation by August, the statement said.
They were also advised by the board to enhance the quantum of disability pension so as to enable ‘Divyangjans’ live a dignified life.
Ministers from 12 states and Union territories and officers from all the states, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Ladakh and Lakshadweep, representatives from the central ministries and departments concerned, national institutes and other central government organisations and nominated members representing persons with disabilities and their associations, participated in the meeting. (PTI)

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