BHUBANESWAR: For disabled persons in Capital City, even the most crucial places like police stations are out of reach. Barring a few, most of the police stations in city don’t have ramps for wheelchair. Despite the provisions of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016, few government officials are aware of what the law requires. A robust mechanism is yet to be adopted by the states to implement the Act. Though Odisha is among the states which have notified the rules, many places like police stations are still not equipped with facilities for persons with disabilities (PwDs).
A study on implementation of the Act was conducted by National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), Disability Rights India Foundation (DRIF) and National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (NCRPD) last year. The NCPEDP later constituted disability legislation unit in each zone of the country to create awareness about RPWD Act. Chief executive of Swabhiman, which is also the disability legislation unit of NCPEDP’s east zone, Shruti Mohapatra, said if a person with disability is aggrieved and visits a police station, he/she will require support due to absence of ramps.
“How many extra staff do the police stations for the PwDs. It is not just about persons with disability, even if pregnant women or elderly people come to a police station, they face difficulty while going in,” she added. Of 23 police stations in the city, around three stations have ramp facilities. A ramp was recently set up at Commissionerate Police headquarters and Mancheswar police station. This apart, Airport and Capital police stations are disabled friendly. “We have planned to construct ramps at all police stations. Whereever it is not feasible to construct a concrete ramp, wooden ramps will be used,” said Twin City Commissioner of Police Satyajit Mohanty.