Context: Indian Railways is committed to make its Railway Stations and trains accessible for Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) as part of “Sugamya Bharat Mission” or Accessible India Campaign of Government of India.   ACCESSIBLE INDIA CAMPAIGN ABOUT ACCESSIBLE INDIA CAMPAIGN Accessible India Campaign or Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan is a program which is set to be launched to serve the differently-able community of the country. The program comes with an index to measure the design of disabled-friendly buildings and human resource policies.  The flagship program has been launched by the Prime Minister on 3 December 2015, the International Day of people with Disabilities The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has conceptualised the “Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan)” as a nation-wide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility that will enable persons with disabilities to gain access for equal opportunity and live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life in an inclusive society. The initiative is also in line with the Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which India is a signatory since 2007. The scheme also comes under Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 under section 44, 45, 46 for equal Opportunities and protection of rights which provides non-discrimination in Transport to Persons with Disabilities. COMPONENTS OF THE CAMPAIGN Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) has the following three important components: 

  • Built Environment Accessibility
  • Transportation System Accessibility
  • Information and Communication Eco-System Accessibility

STRATEGY: A multi-pronged strategy will be adopted for the campaign with key components as:

  • Leadership endorsements of the campaign,
  • Mass awareness, 
  • Capacity building through workshops, 
  • Interventions (legal frame-work, technology solutions, resource generation, etc. 
  • Leverage corporate sector efforts in a Public-Private Partnership.

WHAT IS THE NEED AND MILESTONES PROPOSED BY THE CAMPAIGN? According to the 2011 Census of India2.21% of the population or approximately 26.8 million Indians suffer from a disability. The major milestones includes: 

  • Atleast 50% of all the government buildings of National Capital and all the State capitals will be made fully accessible for persons with disabilities by July 2018.
  • Conducting audit of 50% of government buildings and converting them into fully accessible buildings in 10 most important cities / towns of all the States (July 2019).
  • All the international airports in the country and railway stations of A1, A & B categories will be made fully accessible by July 2016 and conducting accessibility audit of all the domestic airports and converting them into fully accessible airports(March 2018).

  • Ensuring that A1,A & B categories of railway stations in the country are converted into fully accessible railway stations (July 2016).

  • Ensuring that 50% of railway stations in the country are converted into fully accessible railway stations (March 2018).

  • Ensuring that 25% of Government owned public transport carriers in the country are converted into fully accessible carriers (March 2018).

  • Conducting accessibility audit of 50% of all government (both Central and State Governments) websites and converting them into fully accessible websites (March 2017).

  • Ensuring that at least 50% of all public documents issued by the Central Government and the State Governments meet accessibility standards (b).

  • Developing and adoption of national standards on captioning and sign-language interpretation in consultation with National media authorities. (July 2016)

  • Ensuring that 25% of all public television programmes aired by government channels meet these standards.(March 2018)

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