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Delhi Chief Minister calls for launching freedom movement for barrier-free India

D.N.I.S. News Network - Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has called for launching a new freedom struggle, similar to the one that saw India attain political independence, to make the nation barrier-free.

Picture of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit unveiling logo for access campaign

The Chief Minister said this while speaking on freedom for disabled people to access infrastructure, services and institution at the launch of a National Campaign for a Barrier-Free India by National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) on 15 August.

Speaking under the clear blue summer sky in the capital on India’s Independence Day, she said the struggle to attain a barrier-free India would require same great grit and determination as was displayed by people during the national independence struggle.

Extending support to the demand by N.C.P.E.D.P. that the National Capital should be made a model of access to inspire rest of the country to emulate its example, she said: “If we make Delhi totally barrier-free for disabled people, then we can present it as an example for the entire country…you have my support in this struggle.”

The Chief Minister unveiled the Access India logo for the National Campaign and released a Blue Print for making India barrier-free.

Picture of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Javed Abidi at launch function

Speaking at the launch, Javed Abidi, Executive Director of N.C.P.E.D.P., stressed that even after almost six decades of independence disabled people are still fighting for their basic freedom and this day should be a day of reflection for all of us.

Former President Council of Architecture P.R. Mehta called for making a beginning for the materialization of this grand vision by making at least a colony in Delhi totally barrier-free and then moving on from there.

Ashwini Agarwal, Joint Secretary of National Association for the Blind (N.A.B.), said the demand for a barrier-free India is a very basic and not an earth-shattering one. Therefore it should be achievable.

Members of Deaf Way presented a mime; schoolchildren from N.A.B and youths from Blind Relief Association rendered patriotic songs to mark the 59th Independence Day at the function held at the India Habitat Centre.