Facilitating ‘disabled’ our moral, social responsibility: CS Mehta – The Northlines

Tawi, January 23: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today emphasised upon the need for having public
infrastructure amenable to specially-abled people for their easy access to them, especially schools and
institutions of the UT.
Dr Mehta made these remarks while chairing the 22nd Steering Committee meeting of Scheme for Implementation
of Rights for Persons with Disabilities (SIPDA) here.
The Chief Secretary stressed on taking all the measures possible for making public offices and infrastructure
accessible to such persons. He advised them to have ramps and rails in every office especially those visited often by
such persons. He told them to have disable-friendly washrooms in such buildings besides signages and other facilities
for assistance to such persons. He advised them to take both short term and long term measures to tackle this issue.
In terms of adopting the innovative approaches, the Chief Secretary underscored the need for establishment a
helpline with a nodal officer who could facilitate them in getting appointments with senior officers or offices in
administration. He told them to create waiting halls for these persons in the ground floor of these offices for
meeting the officers to apprise them about their issues. He also directed for giving suitable accommodation to
specially-abled employees in the ground floor of the office they are working at.
He enjoined upon them that it is the social obligation of all of us, besides our moral responsibility, to assist them in
every manner. He asked them to have wheel chairs available in the main offices for their ease, besides providing
them help in reaching the particular place in the office complexes.
The Commissioner Secretary, SWD, Sheetal Nanda apprised the meeting that the SIPDA Scheme has been
formulated by Government of to provide barrier free for the persons with disabilities which
include access to built environment in schools, colleges, academic and training institutions, offices and public
buildings, recreational areas, health centres/hospitals etc.
This also includes provision for ramps, rails, lifts, adaptation of toilets for wheelchair users, brail signages and
auditory signals, tactile flooring, causing curb cuts and slopes to be made in pavement for the easy access of
wheelchair users, she adds.
It also enlists engraving on the surface of zebra crossing for the blind or for persons with low vision, engraving on the
edges of railway platforms for the blind or for low vision and devising appropriate symbols of disability, etc, as was
discussed in the meeting.
It was made out that government websites should also be accessible to PwDs as per guidelines issued by NIC and
Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (D/o AR&PG), Government of India.


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