PANJIM: Although the government has been making disabled-friendly structures, many of them have been rendered inaccessible, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Guru Pawaskar said.
According to the 2011 census, there are 32,000 disabled persons in Goa registered with the Government. The number of specially-abled persons has tripled. Even as the government creates infrastructure for the differently-abled, the same is not being maintained or kept accessible to them.
Total 22 buildings have been almost completed in last six months. The Social Welfare Department is targeting to make at least 200 buildings in Goa accessible for differently-abled within next two years.
State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Guru Pawaskar said, "There are guidelines for making new buildings accessible for all. However, if you have a look at the several government structures, like the gram panchayat offices, Housing Board complexes, although these have accessible toilets on the ground floor, but have been turned into store rooms.”
"It is also the responsibility of the civil society to maintain these facilities. Everything the government cannot and shouldn't give. The civil society too has to take responsibility," he said.
The Minister for Social Welfare Subhash Faldesai said, "In fact the idea of programmes like Purple Fest is to create awareness about these issues and we are sure that a few years down the line we won't be discussing the issues surrounding accessibility.”
Meanwhile Faldesai said, "Though the tenders were floated about 4 years ago we have sped up the work of making buildings accessible for specially-abled persons. We will complete the work in four months. We have planned to make 200 buildings disabled-friendly," said Faldesai.