Modi asked them to ensure that adequate unisex accessible toilets for the physically challenged are also constructed.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream initiative to make at least 50 per cent of all government buildings in the national capital and all state capitals “fully accessible” for the disabled or physically challenged by July 2018 seems to be going nowhere.
With the much hyped ‘Accessible India’ campaign limping, the Prime Minister has expressed concern over it’s progress. Sensing that only nine months were left for the deadline to end and the initiative was nowhere near being accomplished, the Prime Minister decided to crack the whip and in a high level meeting asked top government officials to ensure that the scheme is completed in campaign mode.
More than 18 months after the Centre had launched the Accessible India campaign or the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan in December 2015, Mr Modi recently expressed concern over its progress while reviewing the scheme where top officials of various central ministries as well as of the nodal department responsible for implementing the initiative, were present.
The target of making 50 per cent central and state government buildings accessible or user friendly for disabled persons in national capital and state capitals, is yet to be accomplished, and sources said that making railway stations user-friendly for the physically challenged was posing greater problems.
Highly placed sources informed this newspaper that Mr Modi is learnt to have categorically conveyed to those present that senior officers should be deputed to physically verify the actual work done under the initiative till now and ensure that the scheme is completed in campaign mode.
The Prime Minister, sources added, made clear his displeasure over the slow pace of the work and is learnt to have told the officials to come up with a progress report on the project during the next review which may happen later this month.
Mr Modi said during the meeting that all Union ministries and state governments should ensure that all office buildings, transport modes and even government websites should be made accessible to physically challenged persons.
He asked them to ensure that adequate unisex accessible toilets for the physically challenged are also constructed. To ensure that such toilets are actually viable, the ministries should explore the possibility of getting such toilet complexes inaugurated by physically challenged persons.