D.N.I.S. News Network- International experts, disabled user groups, advocacy organisation, government bodies and academicians got together in the National Capital to discuss the issue of accessible transport and issues related to its materialisation in India at a national conference.
The three-day Conference (17, 18, 19 March) titled National Conference on Accessible Transportation – Mobility for All- 2006 not only saw presentations by experts but also by students from Indian Institute of Technology (I.I.T.) Delhi, and School of Planning and Architecture.
Transport Scientist and Engineer Kit Mitchell presented a paper drawing examples from various countries to offer suggestions relevant for Indian context. Mitchell, who is Co-Chair of Committee on Accessible Transportation in U.S.A., said for a town to be accessible for everybody, sidewalks must be wide, free of obstacles and free from parked vehicles.
Another international expert Ling Suen of the International Centre for Accessible Transportation, Canada called for announcement of a National Transportation Act.
The Conference was organised by Samarthya, National Centre for Promotion of Barrier-Free Environment for Disabled Persons, an organisation advocating barrier-free environment, in collaboration with Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Programme (T.R.I.P.P.) of I.I.T.
T.R.I.P.P. coordinator Dinesh Mohan said that mobility for all means mobility for all, not for few. He said Delhi was moving ahead in the field of a barrier-free environment. In this context he drew attention towards the first disabled-friendly bus shelter, but added that there was still a lot that needed to be done.
As part of the Conference, some of the participants also become the first sizeable group of wheelchair users to simultaneously board disabled-friendly high capacity bus at Delhi’s first disabled-friendly bus terminal that was dedicated to public by Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf.