Accessible India Campaign (AIC) is the nationwide flagship campaign of
the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD),
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The aim of the Campaign is
to make a barrier free and conducive environment for Divyangjans all
over the country. It was launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra
Modi on International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd
The campaign is based on the principles of the Social Model of
Disability, that disability is caused by the way society is organised,
and not the person’s limitations and impairments. The physical,
social, structural and attitudinal barriers prevent People with
Disabilities from participating equally in the socio-cultural and
economic activities. A barrier-free environment facilitates equal
participation in all the activities and promotes an independent and
dignified way of life. The campaign has the vision to build an
inclusive society in which equal opportunities are provided for the
growth and development of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) so that
they can lead productive, safe and dignified lives.
For creating universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities,
the campaign has been divided into three verticals: Built Environment;
Transport and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) ecosystem.
The Built Environment Accessibility component of Accessible India
Campaign entails following targets: (i) Completing accessibility audit
of at least 25-50 most important government buildings in 50 cities and
making them fully accessible by the end of this year; (ii) Making 50%
of all the government buildings of NCT and all the State capitals
fully accessible by December 2018; (iii) Completing accessibility
audit of 50% of government buildings and making them fullyaccessible
in 10 most important cities/towns of States not covered in targets (i)
and (ii) by December 2019.
The Department has completed the accessibility audit of 1653 buildings
which were identified by state governments through empaneled Access
Auditors. The Access Audit Reports for 1469 buildings were submitted
to the State Nodal Officers for submitting financial proposal for
retrofitting of these building. The proposals for 575 buildings have
been received under the scheme. Funds amounting to Rs 45.42 Crore have
been disbursed to States for 242 buildings. An amount of Rs.148 lakh
has been released to auditors for conducting access-audit.
Transport accessibility component of Accessible India Campaign aims to
make all international airports fully accessible immediately and
domestic airports by March 2018. Out of 32 international airports 25
have been provided with accessibility features namely, ramps,
accessible toilets, lifts with braille symbols and auditory signals.
Railways is the most popular mode of transport in our country. In
order to make one of the biggest rail-networks in the world
accessible, all A1, A & B categories of railway stations are to be
made fully accessible.
Under Accessible India Campaign, Department aims to make 10% of
government owned public transport carriers to be made fully accessible
by March 2018. To achieve the same, the Ministry of Road Transport &
Highways has issued instructions to States and Executive Directors of
State Undertakings to ensure that 10% of Government owned Public
Transport is made fully accessible to the PwDs by March 2018.
Accessibility of Information and Communication System is another
crucial pillar of Accessible India Campaign. The target set under this
vertical is to make at least 50% of Central and State Government
websites accessible by March 2017.
The work-order has already been issued for making 917 state government
websites accessible. In addition to this, 100 Government websites of
56 Ministries/Departments are being made accessible by the Ministry of
Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).
Department launched ‘Sugamya Pustakalaya’- an online library for
Persons with Print Disabilities centred on achieving ‘Universal
Accessibility’. The Department has also organised awareness workshops
at Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Raipur, Bhubaneswar, Chennai and Ranchi
to provide an insight into various contours of Accessible India
To create mass awareness on Accessibility, a Motorcycle Rally
‘Ride4Accessibility’ was organised on July 24.2016 at India Gate,
Lodhi Garden, Vasant Kunj and South Extension, in which more than 600
motorbike riders and 6000 youth/students participated.
In order to create a foot-print in digital space, the Department is
constantly exploring the Social Media for providing updates on AIC
through blogs, reports, live broadcasts, pictures etc. The Department
has a dedicated website – www.accessibleindia.gov.in and a mobile
application whereby, it can be reached for recent updates and
(The author is posted at PIB, New Delhi. The article is based on
inputs from the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities
(DEPwD), M/o Social Justice and Empowerment)