Accessibility August 13, 2019
PM Modi’s direction to develop app for disabled people welcomed
In an important announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed the Department of Empowerment of People with Disabilities to develop an app that would help resolve the problems faced by people with disabilities.
Be compassionate towards disabled people and speed up implementation of the Accessible India Campaign (AIC). This is the direction given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) during a review of the progress made under the campaign.
This involves work to begin on the development of a >mark>mobile phone application that disabled people can use to upload images related to problems they may be facing.
Once the images are uploaded by the user, concerned departments will be obliged to take relevant action and provide a resolution. Mumbai-based Senior Systems Engineer Jasmina Khanna believes the app is a progressive idea, one that will bring about positive change.
“I think the app is a good initiative and the fact that the order has come from the PM is great”, says Jasmina. An app of this nature, she believes will make life easier for the community. “There are so many schemes for disabled people but they are unable to access them because there is so much hassle, documentation and running around. The entire process brings the morale of the community down”.
Given the painfully slow progress of goals set under the AIC, there are some apprehensions as well.
I must congratulate the Honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modiji for thinking about this app through which persons with disabilities can report on accessibility and issues related to disability. However, one must realise and I think it is important for the government to note as well that such a change will not happen unless accountability is set. There are timelines in which any problem reported by somebody is closed. Such things have been tried in the past. The AIC had an app which did not really come to fruition or lead to much. So kudos to the government for yet again thinking about the app but unless resources are allocated, timelines are set, I don’t really think much change will happen. – Nipun Malhotra, CEO, Nipman Foundation
The fact that the direction has come from the PM raises much hope among the community. For Arun Dua, who works with the NGO Disha in Chandigarh, the directive from the top is a sign of things changing.
“The PM’s directive for an app to track malpractices is welcome move. This will stop fake Divyangs with fake certificates from taking advantage of the facilities and reservations meant for disabled people”, says Dua. He also believes the app will facilitate the creation of accessible public places and buildings.
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