[AI] Disabled too should have access to skywalks

Vishnu Ramchandani vishnu.ramchandani at mphasis.com
Thu Apr 1 03:11:25 EDT 2010

Mumbai: The report by a private body indicating that most skywalks are
under-utilised is worrisome. One reason is that large amount of public
funds have been poured into the project and if people aren't using the
facilities then it amounts to gross waste of taxpayers' funds. 

It was interesting reading the views expressed by commuters about the
skywalks in Mumbai. There are many links already implemented in the city
and many are being planned. I have some suggestions; firstly they must
be accessible for people with disabilities. The state agency seems to
have forgotten that physically-challenged individuals are also expected
to use them. 

There are no signages indicating directions for those suffering from
hearing impairment. For example, Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for
the Hearing Handicapped, situated in Bandra West provides rehabilitation
services for the deaf, cannot be accessed from the Bandra railway
station, using the skywalk being constructed. For visually challenged
users there are no tactile tiles or sound alerts. There are no
escalators or lifts for senior citizens or those suffering from
orthopaedic disability. MMRDA should make these bridges free of barriers
forpersons with disabilities.

India is signatory to the guidelines on accessibility of United Nations
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The
convention treats persons with disabilities as 'subjects' with rights,
who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their
lives based on their free and informed consent. (The writer works as
media officer with Ali Yavar Jung National Institute For The Hearing

PJ Mathew Martin


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