The Telegraph
Sunday , November 25 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Plea for aid to disabled

- Shishu Sarothi to seek HC intervention for amenities

Guwahati, Nov. 24: Shishu Sarothi, an NGO, will move Gauhati High Court, seeking the court’s intervention to make Guwahati a disabled-friendly city.

Arman Ali, executive director of the NGO, said not a single public institute or establishment in the city offers suitable amenities to physically challenged persons.

Leading institutions like the state secretariat, Cotton College, Guwahati railway station and Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport are not at all disabled friendly, he pointed out.

“Such a situation is a gross violation of Person with Disabilities Act, 1935 which stipulates that there should be a non-discrimination atmosphere at public places. In the city, physically-challenged persons face a nightmare when it comes to sanitation in commercial areas or other public places,” Ali said.

Ali said despite repeated complaints and discussions with the authorities concerned, no development has taken place.

“We will start a campaign soon to sensitise people, organisations, and government officials to create awareness on the need for public amenities for differently-abled persons. If no change is seen, we will be forced to approach the court,” Ali said.

Ali regretted last week’s incident when 15 differently-abled children of his NGO faced a harrowing time at Guwahati railway station because of a lack of minimum basic facilities for them.

On November 17, the wheelchair-bound passengers had to be taken through the cargo offload route to the platform to catch their train to New Delhi.

They had been invited by the National School of Drama to perform a play on November 20.

Ali said in 2010, the general manager of NF Railway had assured them that they would create amenities at the railway station. He said the recent incident has exposed the casual approach of NF Railway to create such facilities.

“There is an urgent need to change the attitude of the government, various organisations and the media towards persons with disabilities. One should not think of charity while doing something for differently-abled persons but consider it their responsibility as law abiding citizens,” Ali said.