Saturday, December 10, 2016

Accessibility is Human Rights issue

3 December 2015: It was my first visit to Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi to witness the National Award function on International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Govt of India launched the Accessible India Campaign from here but alas the venue was disabled friendly. I along with Abha Khetarpal wrote to the PMO office and Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities about the inaccessible ramp the very next day.

4 December 2015: I was invited at Social Welfare Department of Govt of Delhi on my grievance of web-inaccessibility. When I reached there, I found the premises again disabled-unfriendly. The same day I registered my complaint.

6 December 2015: I was returning to home when I saw the 'masterpiece' steep ramp at IDBI Bank in Vasundhara, Ghaziabad near my house. I tweeted to the officials at the same moment.

A year later!

Today is Human Rights Day (10 December 2016) and the theme is #StandUp4HumanRights

"“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere." (Eleanor Roosevelt)

I followed up with all three officials where I get success with IDBI Bank, partial success with Delhi Govt as they released tender for installation of lift and no result with Central Govt as their overhyped Accessible India Campaign failed to produce any results.

Youth Ki Awaaz followed the IDBI story which you can read here. News18's Citizen Journalist program also covered the story:


The end result was creation of an accessible ramp by IDBI Bank.Times of India covered the story on the Diwali Day:
GHAZIABAD: The relentless pursuit for over one year by a differently abled activist has prompted one of the banks in Vasundhara to construct a ramp at its building to enable wheelchair-bound customers to enter premises. The activist had found it difficult to access many banks in the area as he had to climb a fleet of steep stairs.
Bank Manager Sumit Jakhar with Dr Satendra Singh
This year also marks ten years of coming into existence of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which is the first human rights treaty in the 21st Century. Article 9 of UNCRPD states:
States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas.
Since India has ratified the convention, it is obligation of the State to provide us accessibility. As I quote Ms Roosvelt above, no effort is small or insignificant. Accessibility is human rights issue and we should strive to make a difference. Every little effort counts.

#HumanRightsDay #StandUp4HumanRights #envision2030 #CRPD #SDGs #dISABILITY #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs #LeaveNoOneBehind

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