GUWAHATI, April 20 - A disability equity training for government officials was conducted on April 18 by Shishu Sarothi, Guwahati, under the Central scheme for Awareness Generation and Publicity of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India in Dibrugarh district. The programme, organised in collaboration with the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Dibrugarh, was presided over by Laya Madduri, Deputy Commissioner, and attended by around 40 participants.
The training, conducted by the Disability Law Unit of Shishu Sarothi and Arman Ali, Executive Director, took added dimensions and relevance in the present times, in view of the new disability law of the land, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, which has fresh nuances, confers many new rights and entitlements and casts corresponding responsibilities and accountability on other stakeholders.
The training provided a platform for active interaction of the Deputy Commissioner and rights activists with the officials, where various issues, like rehabilitation and early intervention facilities, need for creation of barrier-free and accessible environment were discussed along with other relevant issues.
The DC called upon all present to take responsibility for ensuring accessibility in their respective offices, so that public spaces can be created where everyone can come freely.
She also enquired whether access audits had been conducted for various offices. To begin with, she said that accessibility should be ensured in about 20-30 important district offices and also all the Block and Gaon Panchayat offices. She specifically requested that any measures taken, like building of ramps, should comply with accessibility standards and not be done simply for namesake.
Also present in the programme was Tanwi Shams, a young woman with disability, and an assistant manager of the Assam Gramin Vikas Bank, who shared her experiences and challenges for persons with disabilities in Dibrugarh.