‘Accessibility’ is the debate around which the life of a person with disability centers. While it is true that our Indian Government comes out with various measures time and again in order to make the world more accessible for the people with disability, we still need to have an in depth look into the lack of accessibility present in our nation. The very fact that recently government came out with the Accessible India Campaign, proves that such campaigns are required so that the infrastructural needs can be improved for the people with disability.
If we have a look at the transport facility existent in our country, one thing that we are all aware of is how unfriendly are the railways towards the people with disability. Not only the trains lack basic ramps to make it possible for people on wheelchair to get inside the train, most of the platforms specifically those in small towns do not even have lifts or accelerators to help the person with disability cross the platforms. Imagine how difficult and painful it would be for a person with physical disability to move from one platform to another in such a case.
Moving on to the infrastructural needs of the buildings, while certain hotels and cafes, as well as colleges have washrooms designed for the persons with disability, many schools lack such basic facilities. Even if one student in the school has physical disability, does make it mandatory for the school to have washroom that can be used by the people with disability. Only this way, can they ensure that the student feels welcomed in the school. Also, it is not possible for every school to have lifts to make the life of a person with disability more comfortable due to budget constraints. However, accessibility can be ensured by taking as simple steps as conducting all the classes of the student downstairs or in that area where it is most comfortable for it to reach.
Another concern in the education sector is that most of the schools reject students who have any disability. This leads to a state of stress as well as depression for the student. The schools can be much more inclusive if they aim at letting in such applicants and not throw them out on the mere basis of their disability. They should understand the fact that disability is a difference and not a disease. Only when they accept students with disability, will they take a bigger step towards the goal of making inclusive for these children.
Suppose a person with disability wants to board a metro. The person will be able to cross the gates, reach till the metro that it wants to travel in with the help of the lift. However, it might not be possible for the person to enter the metro, given the short span of time that the metro doors open for at a specific station and the rush which makes it impossible for a person with disability to enter it with safety. In such a case, even if the time cannot be reduced, people should be taught to be more considerate towards others and make a way so that the person with disability can enter the metro without any difficulty even in the time of rush.
Another way India can be made more accessible is by including some implements on its roads. The existence of a high pedestrian pavement makes it impossible or sometimes tougher for a person with disability to move to the road. If the person is on the pavement and wishes to go to the road, there is no way that it has ramp which lets its wheelchair walk over it or a slanting end through which it can move towards the road. Although, certain pavements do have a slanting end, the fact that most of them do not have such a facility can make the life of a person with disability a bit inconvenient.
We are still seeing a growth in the number of people with disability being offered jobs by various companies; however stories of discrimination still exist. From the stories of how people with disability are working well in companies, one fact is to be learnt by other companies that talent and skills are what determines if the person will be able to work for the company or not. Rejecting a person because they have a disability is equivalent to considering that people with disability lack the right kind of talent and skills. Thus, another way our country can improve its accessibility is accepting applications of people with disability more based on the basis of their merit.