Justice is literally inaccessible for people with physical disabilities in Vadodara
Vadodara in Gujarat prides itself for having Asia’s largest district court. However, as it turns out people with physical disabilities struggle to enter the main court building.
The heritage Nyay Mandir building was not disabled friendly, a problem the new court complex was supposed to address.
However, even the new building is disabled friendly only in name. It has many structural flaws that make it hard for physically disabled people to reach the main building.
The roads and buildings department of the Gujarat government has set up ramps and installed elevators in the building. However, there are barriers, low-height pillars, and concrete blocks dividing the parking space and the inner compound. These do not allow disabled people to go towards the main building on their wheelchairs.
As Vinod Mistry, a wheelchair user found when he tried to reach the court complex this week. Mistry, who was in court for a case, could not pass through the little space between the low-height pillars.
He has been fighting the case for 25 years and was very hopeful that the new court would be disabled friendly. Instead Mistry spent two hours trying to figure out how to enter the court.
Mistry slammed the government's Accessible India campaign. He said that he could not enter the court through any gate as the rear gate is blocked to litigants.