Dear Readers,

The Accessible
India Campaign was recently in the news and could be important for your exams.

Prime Minister Narendra
Modi launched the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan on December 3, 2015, on the occasion
of International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The scheme aims to create a
barrier-free environment so that Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) can gain access
to government buildings, public transport, airports, railway stations, emergency
services, etc with greater ease.


The Department of Empowerment
of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and
Empowerment, launched this nationwide flagship campaign.

It works towards helping PwDs live
independently, have equal opportunities, and be productive citizens of an
inclusive society.

Key Features

The Government of India has launched
this campaign with abovementioned aims to ensure holistic growth and
development of PwDs.

A multi-dimensional plan will
be adopted for this campaign comprising the following key components:
(i) mass awareness (ii) leadership endorsements of the movement (iii) interventions
in the form of a legal framework and ample resource generation (iv) workshops for
capacity-building and (v) leverage corporate initiatives in a Public-Private

The programme will target three
domains for achieving universal accessibility – built environment, transportation
and information and communication ecosystem.

To achieve the set goals within
the defined timelines and improve awareness, the campaign will use IT and
social media tools.

The Department has asked state
governments to pick 50-100 public buildings in premier cities and identify public
websites that are citizen-centric.

Organisations with the
requisite expertise will then conduct “Access Audit” of the selected buildings
and websites. Facilities like retrofitted ramps, disabled-friendly lifts,
toilets as well as Braille symbols and auditory signals would be made available
in these buildings.

As per the audit results, various
tasks will be undertaken by different government departments. This will be aided
by the Scheme of Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act (SIPDA), the umbrella
programme run by the DEPwD to implement initiatives for the socio-economic
empowerment of PwDs.

This will
be supported by the Scheme of Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act
(SIPDA), an umbrella scheme run by the Department of Empowerment of Persons
with Disabilities (DEPwD) for implementing various initiatives for social and
economic empowerment of PwDs.

Goals and Timeline of the Scheme

To conduct accessibility audit
of at least fifty important government buildings and make them fully accessible
by July 2016 in 26 cities.

To make 50% of government
buildings in the national Capital and state capitals fully accessible by July

To make 25% of public transport
vehicles disabled-friendly by mid-2017.

To conduct accessibility audit
of all the international airports and make them full accessible by mid-2016.

To conduct accessibility audit
of all the domestic airports and make them full accessible by March 2018.

To ensure that 50% of railway
stations are made fully accessible by March 2018.

To make 25% of government-owned
public transports fully accessible carriers by March 2018.

To train and develop 200
additional sign language interpreters by March 2018.

To develop and adopt national
standards on sign language interpretation and captioning in consultation with national
media bodies by July 2016.

To ensure that by March 2018, 25%
of television programmes aired by government channels meet these standards.

A new special university will
also be set up for PwDs with a budget of Rs.1700 crore. It will begin
functioning in the next academic year.

To develop a mobile application
in English, Hindi and all regional languages to enable PwDs locate nearby
accessible places across India.

These are some
major points on Accessible India Campaign. If you can understand these well,
you can easily attempt questions pertaining to it.

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