Wheelchair users face lack of accessibility in Chandigarh

Harman Singh Sidhu lives in Chandigarh and runs NGO Arrive Safe India.

He started using a wheelchair to move around two years after an accident left him paralyzed in 1996.

Since then he has been using the wheelchair as an integral part of his life.

Sidhu has done a survey on the accessibility of buildings and structures in the city of Chandigarh for people in wheelchair.

He has been living in the city for decades and has faced accessibility issues himself.

Sidhu says that 70 per cent of locations which have ramps or structures for the people in wheelchairs, do not meet the specifications laid down by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

At most places the ramps are too steep and slippery to be safe for a wheelchair user.

This makes it impossible for a wheelchair using person to move around alone in Chandigarh without any assistance.

More effort is needed to make the city accessible

Sidhu feels that the government is not doing enough for the welfare of wheelchair users as even basic accessibility is not disabled friendly in the city.

Much is needed to be done in terms of proper designing of the infrastructure.

Rules and guidelines need to be implemented with efficiency.

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