Tourism Ministry announces many steps to make holiday destinations accessible for disabled people
The Ministry of Tourism has announced the following steps to make tourist destinations friendlier for people with disabilities.
- Swadesh Darshan or PRASHAD (National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive) - All state governments and union territories will have to give an undertaking that a barrier-free environment for disabled tourists has been included in the design of built up areas of the project. The agency executing the project will have to put in place required facilities for barrier-free access for people with physical disabilities.
- A National Tourism Award for Best Maintained and Disabled-Friendly Monument will be given to encourage agencies responsible for maintaining monuments to create an accessible, barrier-free environment.
- There are guidelines issued for classifying hotels under two provisions. One, a specially designed room with accessible bathroom and furniture. Two, accessible washrooms and ramps with anti-slip floors to allow wheelchair access to public areas, and at least one restaurant.
The Tourism Ministry had come up with a report on the problems faced by disabled tourists. Some of them were:
- Lack of accessible taxis and local transport facilities.
- Lack of proper information and signages at necessary point and intersection.
- Lack of affordable and accessible accommodation.
- Lack of accessible public conveniences at destination.