The Indian PM Narendra Modi recently launched his government's campaign to provide access to differently-abled people, Accessible India, on December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and has appointed NRI Pranav Desai, the Vice President with a Global IT Services Company as advisor to the campaign. The campaign aims to make transport, public spaces and information and communication technology accessible to differently-abled people.
Desai is himself a polio survivor and played a key role in inclusion of issues related to differently-abled people in the ruling BJP’s Vision 2020 documents and also in its election manifesto. He was appointed advisor to the Accessible India campaign by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and is the founder of non-governmental Voice of Accessible India that has worked on a multi-pronged approach to achieve Vision 2020.
Desai said the Accessible India Campaign is becoming a countrywide reality and an inspiration to other nations as well. He also informed that the Art of Living Foundation of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has also joined the ambitious campaign.
The department of empowerment of persons with disabilities, the nodal department under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, intends to follow a target-based approach by setting timelines for the different activities. The five-year initiative would involve retrofitting buildings, framing accessibility standards for new buildings and transport, auditing private companies on 'accessibility index' and making all government websites accessible to the differently-abled.