Access hurdles of PWDs in Smart Cities decried: Javed Abidi

The Centre is not serious about accessibility hurdles which have been a long standing concern for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in India.

Published: 28th March 2017 05:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th March 2017 05:48 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The Centre is not serious about accessibility hurdles which have been a long standing concern for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in India.

While there has been much hype on implementation of Information Technology in an array of sectors, there is a large divide between ‘Digital India’ and ‘Accessibility India’ campaigns launched by the Union Government, said Javed Abidi ,Global Chair, Disabled People’s International here on Monday.


Speaking to mediapersons about Smart City Mission, Abidi said it fails to integrate disability as a key issue in its proposal. While there is no uniformity on incorporation of access for the disabled, the top 20 cities which have emerged victorious in the Smart City race, have completely neglected the role of digital inclusion for PWDs, he said.


"There are about 6000 Government websites in country and almost all cannot be accessed by a visually impaired person. It is an irony that Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), which was launched to supplement cashless economy, is also inaccessible for the blind,’’ said Abidi who is scheduled to conduct a seminar to discuss about PWDs’ inclusion in Smart City Mission. 


Private firms, which have been hired as concessionaires to build Smart Cities, are extremely particular over inclusion of disabled-friendly components in projects which they have taken up in foreign countries. However, when it comes to India, the same companies ignore PWDs, rued Abidi.


A number of representations from disabled person forums has fallen on deaf ears of the Government. A lack of connect between Government policies/laws and technology developers has led to a situation in which the PWDs have been neglected in ambitious plans declared by the Centre. 


It is high time the Centre and State Governments work in tandem and fix accountability of the private sectors, Abidi added.

Stay up to date on all the latest Odisha news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp