Around 71% of govt schools across country made disabled friendly: Ministry data | India News

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NEW DELHI: Around 71 per cent of over 11.68 lakh government and government-aided schools across the country have been made barrier-free with provisions of ramps, handrails and accessible toilets for children with disabilities, as per data collected under the Accessible India Campaign.
Data available with the department of empowerment of persons with disability of the ministry of social justice shows that as far as transport is concerned while 35 international airports and 55 domestic have been provided with the features of accessibility, road transport remains an area of concern with just 29.2 per cent (42,785) buses made partially accessible and a mere 5.7% (8,443) made fully accessible. As far as railways is concerned 709 A1, A and B category railway stations have been made accessible and 3,714 other railway stations are partly accessible.
The Centre’s flagship scheme for enhancing accessibility and creating a barrier-free environment was launched in 2015 and is up for a review later this month where the status of targets and the future course of the scheme will be decided. The AIC or Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan sets out targets to achieve universal accessibility for persons with disabilities in built environment (buildings) under an identified list, transport system and information and communication technology (ICT) ecosystem.
While listing out the various initiatives of his ministry over the last eight years, minister for social justice and empowerment Virendra Singh shared data on built environment saying that about 585 buildings of the states/Union territories and 1,030 central government buildings have been made barrier-free for persons with disabilities under AIC with the release of Rs 553.59 crore.
The future of the AIC, its impact and how far it has met the laid out targets and a decision on further extension of deadlines for unmet targets will be up for a review on June 24 at the Central Advisory Board — the apex national-level consultative and advisory body on disability matters under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. The Union minister for social justice heads the CAB.
“During the last meeting held in November 2020, CAB recommended extending the timeline of AIC up to June 2022 for public buildings. According to the ministry of social justice and empowerment, any decision to extend the AIC beyond June 14 will be taken by the CAB, which will review the status reports of states and other ministries on delivering on targets.
Under this campaign, grants are given to states/UTs to conduct accessibility audits and making only the identified public places/infrastructure fully accessible in built-up environment and making the identified states’/UT’s websites accessible.

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