- Published: 17 May 2023
Panaji may have served as a model city for persons with disabilities (PwD) following the success of the Purple Fest a few months ago, however, in the aftermath of the ongoing Smart City works, members of the community feel otherwise. The disability rights’ association of Goa (DRAG) has written to the state disability commissioner to take cognizance of the places in Panaji that are inaccessible to the disabled as well as the elderly.
“Lots of complaints have been received that many places are not accessible for persons with disabilities and we are surprised that Smart City is carrying out works without taking them into account,” said DRAG president, Avelyno D’sa.
He also pointed out that other than the ongoing works in Panaji, several places in Goa are still not accessible to the community. Under the ‘make my neighbourhood accessible’ campaign, DRAG has tied up with the youth of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Goa to identify such “black spots” and make them accessible by November 30, 2023.
D’Sa also said that the state government should ensure that children with disabilities get admissions to their school of choice. “No school can deny admission to a child with disabilities. We had seven complaints last year in such cases and we took the matter to the state disabilities commission following which these schools were directed to give admission to the children,” he said.
He also said that this is especially important under the new education policy (NEP) where the focus is on inclusive education. He requested parents of children with disabilities to file a complaint with DRAG in case their children are denied admission.
“All schools and colleges in Goa have to be accessible to the students with disabilities including having services such as an accessible washroom for wheelchair users. If any educational institution doesn’t sanction special educators or is not able to give any help to the students, we will ensure that they get all the help to implement inclusive education in Goa,” he said.
Autor(en)/Author(s): Nida Sayed
Quelle/Source: The Times of India, 10.05.2023