- Disabled... not welcome
Disabled... not welcome
If you are disabled then the government offices in Panjim are not the places to visit because they do not have facilities to cater to you
It is taking a while for the state government offices to be made disabled friendly. This despite the target under the under the Accessible India campaign being July 2016. The work is yet to begin thus continuing the suffering persons with disability have to endure to access the government offices in Panjim.
Accessibility for persons with disability does not mean only ramps and lifts but also tactile tiles and Braille signage’s for the visually impaired and visual signs and loops for the hearing impaired.
As Herald visited most of the government offices in the capital city it was seen that except for the ramp and lifts, the offices lacked tactile tiles and Braille signage’s for the visually impaired. Also visual signs and loops for the hearing impaired were missing.
The pathway leading to the ramp in the Directorate of Social Welfare office in the capital city is usually blocked by two wheelers thus making it very difficult for movement of people with disabilities. Further the old education building which houses a majority of offices also lacks ramp facilities.
Secondly it was also seen the toilet at Junta House which is meant for people with disability had been closed for the past three months making it very difficult for them.
“For the past three months the toilet which is meant for us has been closed and nobody knows why this was done” said a citizen on the condition of anonymity.
Goa has 33,012 persons with disability as per Census 2011, of which 17,016 are males and 15,996 are females.
“No. All government buildings in Panjim are not disabled friendly and it is very difficult for persons with disability to access the government offices in Panjim. It is very disheartening that the State Government is not taking accessibility of Government offices for persons with disability seriously. 25 Government Offices in Panjim were to be made disabled friendly under the Accessible India campaign by July 2016. However the work is not yet started even though two years have passed.” Said Disability Rights Association Goa (DRAG) President Avelino D’sa
He said, “Accessibility for persons with disability does not mean only ramps and lifts but also tactile tiles and Braille signage’s for the visually impaired and visual signs and loops for the hearing impaired. Accessibility for persons with disability also benefits the elderly, pregnant women and parents with small children - in short at least 25 per cent of our population.”
Meanwhile, attempts to get a comment from the department of Social welfare were in vain as officers concerned were not available to respond to Herald queries.