About the Campaign
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory, casts an obligation on all the signatory governments to take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas.
- The Accessible India Campaign was launched in 2015 by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, with a view to fulfilling the obligations under the UNCRPD.
- It is a nation-wide Campaign for achieving universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). It aims at providing equal opportunity to PwDs to participate in all the aspects of life and live independently.
- The Accessible India Campaign comprises of the following three components:
- Built Environment Accessibility: It aims to provide an accessible physical environment for everyone. To achieve this, measures need to be undertaken to eliminate obstacles and barriers to indoor and outdoor facilities including schools, medical facilities, and workplaces.
- Transportation System Accessibility: It focuses on providing persons with disabilities an equal right to travel and use public and private transportation infrastructure with dignity and independence.
- Information and Communication Eco-System Accessibility: Access to information refers to all information. This can range from actions such as being able to read price tags, to physically enter a hall, to participate in an event, to read a pamphlet with healthcare information, to understand a train timetable, or to view webpages.
- The campaign is based on the principles of the Social Model of Disability, that disability is caused by the way society is organised, and not the person’s limitations and impairments.
- The physical, social, structural and attitudinal barriers prevent People with Disabilities from participating equally in the socio-cultural and economic activities. A barrier-free environment facilitates equal participation in all the activities and promotes an independent and dignified way of life.
- The campaign has the vision to build an inclusive society in which equal opportunities are provided for the growth and development of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) so that they can lead productive, safe and dignified lives.
Why in News?
- With its deadline of June 2022 almost up, the status of targets under the Accessible India Campaign (AIC) is likely to be discussed during a meeting of the Central Advisory Board on Disability later this month according to the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry.
- The campaign, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 3, 2015, aimed at making a proportion of government buildings, transport and websites accessible for persons with disabilities (PwD) by deadlines in 2017, 2018 and 2019. However, the deadline was extended to March 2020 and then again to June 2022.
- According to a reply by the Ministry in the Rajya Sabha in February, 48.5% of State and UT government buildings had been made accessible, almost at the target of 50%. Progress on public transport was less, with only 8.73% of buses fully accessible as against the target of 25%. All 35 international airports were accessible and all A and B category railway stations too.