Workshop on accessible environment for disabled people draws key stakeholders
A barrier-free environment for disabled people is mandated by law but there is little awareness among key participants about what goes into making the world accessible. NGO Aclude Foundation is working to change this by holding workshops with builders, interior designers and government officials
The Accessible India Campaign mandates creating barrier-free infrastructure for disabled people. A goal India is far from achieving. One of the main reasons is believed to be lack of awareness and sensitisation among those key to this change. This includes government officials, as well as builders, interior designers and architects.
Working together to build an accessible world for disabled
Navi Mumbai-based NGO Aclude Foundation wants to address these knowledge gaps by working with the stakeholders. It organised a workshop in Navi Mumbai in partnership with Anubhav Property, a real estate company with a presence in Panvel. The workshop was on accessibility and building a barrier-free environment for disabled people. The workshop covered aspects of the law, the current scenario, and the challenges that lie in implementing an accessible environment.
Present were government officials from Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, interior designers, builders, and principal architects of different organisations. Five disabled people were present as well.
The objective of such workshops is to bring stakeholders like architects, interior designers, etc to come together and create awareness about accessibility in infrastructure. I have found that even experienced architects and government officials are not aware of accessibility or why it is needed. Lack of funds and attitudinal barriers are the biggest challenges in implementing a barrier-free environment for disabled people and that’s why we work closely with stakeholders. – Danesh Kanagaraj, Founder, Aclude Foundation
Builders commit to accessibility
Sachin Kothari of Anubhav Properties admits that sensitisation is one of the main barriers. “I have been a builder for 18 years and I was not aware of the need for accessibility. It is mandated but most people don’t know how to go about it”. Kothari says the workshop has changed his perspective. “I now commit to making sure that all my upcoming projects will be accessible to disabled people. I will also help promote this idea further”.
Ravindra Singh, Founder, myUDAAN, the mobile app helps disabled people live with greater independence, said the workshop brought everyone on the same platform. “We got to talk about the problems faced by disabled people in accessing what they need”.
Danesh plans to hold such workshops regularly. Aclude Foundation also works with college students in Navi Mumbai area to build greater sensitisation. “We discussed the queries, suggestions and recommendations from those present. We received several applications for collaborations to achieve a barrier-free environment for disabled people”.