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Thursday, 26 March, 2009, 12 : 00 PM [IST]

MoT to strongly enforce accessibility provisions for benefit of People with Disabilities

In order to make all tourism products accessible to all kinds of tourists, especially People with Disabilities (PwDs), Ministry of Tourism (MoT) will strongly enforce accessibility provisions in all the centrally-approved tourism projects.  This information was divulged by Sujit Banerjee, Secretary – Tourism, Government of India at the inauguration of a two-day conference on Inclusive Tourism, ‘Accessible Transportation and Tourism,’ held in the capital. The conference, which concluded yesterday, was organised by Svayam, an NGO, in conjunction with MoT and Transport Department, Government of Delhi. “We have decided not to give central financial assistance to projects which do not have facilities for differently- abled people. Incredible India cannot be called incredible if our destinations are not accessible to all kinds of people,” he informed.   

The Secretary informed that MoT had started recognising efforts of the private sector in this regard by instituting awards at the National Tourism Awards.  He also informed that the core committee comprising people from Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Transport, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Ministry of Social Welfare, etc. would be asked to make a report on tourism sites which need to be taken up for improvement of accessibility on a priority basis.  

In her introductory address, Sminu Jindal, Founder & Chairperson, Svayam commented that there was endless possibility for India to grow in the tourism sector if mobility issues of PwDs was looked into and addressed. The conference was addressed by eminent speakers from India and abroad on issues related to inclusive transportation and tourism across the globe. They included Tom Rickert, Executive Director, Access Exchange International, Lalita Sen, Professor, Texas Southern University, USA; Jamie Osborne, Transit Planner, SFMTA; Rajiv Kohli, President, ASTA etc.
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