- The government has planned to set up solar wheelchairs, battery-driven carts and special toilets among other facilities at 145 cultural wonders
- The overhaul will take place in an organised phase manner and will cover prominent monuments throughout the nation
- The officials said that these facilities would be put up without modifying the authenticity of these sites
In a welcoming initiative taken up as a part of the ‘Accessible India Campaign’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi , several monuments will be made accessible to the differently-abled visitors.
The move has come up in a joint effort of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) and the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).
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The government has planned to set up solar wheelchairs, battery-driven carts and special toilets among other facilities at 145 cultural wonders such as the Taj Mahal and Jagannath Temple to ensure that these structures are more inclusive to the needs of the differently-abled in a country.
Apparently, the overhaul will take place in an organised phase manner and will cover prominent monuments throughout the nation, reported India Today.
For its initial phase, ASI has shortlisted 50 ancient sites and has prepared a list of these under its Adarsh Smarak Yojana, considering to cover the historical structures that witness very high tourist footfall first.
The sites that would be covered also include the Ajanta and Ellora Caves of Maharashtra, Delhi’s Qutb Complex and Red Fort, Rajasthan’s Ranthambore Fort and Brahma Temple, Group of Monuments at Hampi in Karnataka and Odisha’s Konark Sun Temple.
Presently, 25 out of 3,680 protected monuments in India have been selected under the Adarsh Smarak Yojana. However, a senior ASI official said that the list of Adarsh monuments had been revised with the number going up to 100 from 25.
DEPwD joint secretary Mukesh Jain told dailymail.co.uk, “The programme is being executed under the direction of the DEPwD only as we are making all heritage and religious sites disabled-friendly by introducing special arrangements for ‘Divyang’ people.”
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The officials said that solar wheelchairs, battery-driven carts, brail signage, tactile floors or pathways, special toilets and railings, etc, would be available at the very entrance of these archaeological sites.
It will be taken into serious consideration that these facilities don’t meddle with the original structure of these monuments. There are also discussions to involve attendants at some of these archaeological sites to assist the differently-abled if needed.
The initiative is also seen as the government’s effort to boost international tourism.
Note: ‘Accessible India Campaign’ (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) is an ambitious project launched in December, last year. The programme intends to make at least 50 per cent of all government buildings in the country’s capital and all state capitals “fully accessible” for the disabled by July 2018.
-This article is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.