Goa Chief Minister launches wheelchair accessible bus services for Panjim school
One of the major barriers that come in the way of disabled children attending school is the lack of wheelchair accessible transport. For the first time in Goa, a school in the state capital has access to a wheelchair accessible bus service, which was inaugurated by the chief minister. This will hopefully set the trend for other schools.
Students of the Sanjay Centre for Special Education in Panjim can now look forward to a comfortable ride to school. This is thanks to the introduction of a wheelchair accessible bus launched this week by Goa Chief Minister, Dr Pramod Sawant.
The modified bus can accommodate seven wheelchairs and a lift has been added with the help of Ezy Mov, the well known wheelchair taxi service. Another partner in this initiative is the Rotary Club of Panaji Mid-Town.
The Goa government has asked other schools for children with disabilities in the state to start this service. A fund has been set up to facilitate this. All the schools have to do is apply for the funding. Activists say this is a welcome move.
I think it is a great initiative and should definitely be extended to all the schools across Goa. The bus will definitely change the way disabled students travel to school. The RPWD Act also talks about making school transport vehicles accessible for the disabled students. – Avelino Dsa, President, Disability Rights Association of Goa
However for true inclusion to happen, this must be mandated for all schools and not just the 30 odd schools for children with disabilities. The RPWD Act specifically talks about ways to make inclusion happen at all levels. This way disabled students will be able to study at any school in the state.
Vishant Nagvekar, a Goa-based activist, hopes this feature will be extended to public transport as well.
“Right now one such bus has been launched and it is a great development. I hope this will be done for all the disabled students in Goa. It would make such a huge difference in the life of people with disabilities if the public transport buses were also made accessible”.