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Towards a disabled-friendly Lucknow

DNIS News Network - Legal Rights and Access workshops in Lucknow aim to make the city disabled-friendly.

The Indian Association of the Handicapped (I.A.H.) in Lucknow held two awareness-cum-sensitisation workshops in the city on 20 and 22 March. The first one, ‘Legal Rights of Disabled People', discussed the Disability Act 1995, and brought to the fore several issues pertaining to the inability of organisations and institutions to fulfill the requirements of the Act. Injustice still prevails because of widespread ignorance among disabled people and authorities in Lucknow .

Justice Pradeep Kant of Lucknow High Court was the Chief Guest and T.D. Dhariyal, Deputy Chief Commissioner Disability, was the keynote speaker. Also present on the occasion were J.L. Kaul, Deputy Director, National Trust and Secretary to Rohit Nandan, Commissioner, Disabled Welfare Government of Uttar Pradesh. While detailing the salient features of the Disability Act, Dhariyal said that his office takes immediate action in more than 60 per cent of the cases. Also brought to light in this session were the startling facts regarding admission into an M.B.B.S. course in the Medical Council of India (M.C.I.). The M.C.I. has fixed the limits of disability in a candidate applying for admission -- as minimum of 50 per cent and a maximum of 70 per cent. Candidates with upper limb disabilities are barred from admission.

‘Accessible Lucknow ' was held by I.A.H. to promote its efforts towards a barrier-free Lucknow . “Accessibility is a prerequisite for disabled people to enjoy equal opportunities”, said Ram Goel, Principal Advisor, I.A.H.. The organisation announced that Aurobindo Park in the city was to become accessible for disabled residents, along with the National Botanical Research Institute, Planetarium, railway station and some historical monuments.

The workshop was attended by over 125 people, among whom were several resource persons and policy makers such as Neeta Das, Professor of Architecture, and Professor Bhoomita Dev, ex-Vice Chancellor of Gorakhpur and Rohelkhand University . Workshop participants included high-ranking government officials, architects, NGOs, leaders of traders' associations and bank managers.