Important To Build Spaces For People With Disabilities —Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri - Eastern Mirror
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Important to build spaces for people with disabilities —Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri

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By IANS Updated: Sep 01, 2022 7:30 pm

New Delhi, Sep. 1 (PTI): Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said there is a need to build sustainable and universally accessible spaces and find policy solutions to accommodate persons with disabilities.

The minister of Housing and Urban Affairs also highlighted that around 70 per cent of those who need assistive technology did not have access to such a facility.

Puri was speaking at an event organised to present the ‘Smart Solutions Challenge and Inclusive Cities Awards 2022’ here.

Citing the 2011 census data, Puri said approximately 26.8 million people in India live with disabilities.

“We must find policy solutions and build infrastructure that caters to people with disabilities and that is what we are committed to. It is estimated that nearly 70 per cent of those who need assistive technology have no access to it. This means that persons living with disabilities are constantly competing just to gain access to essential resources.

“Lack of accountability curtails their access to transport services, sanitation, health and education. As a result, the most vulnerable populations could get excluded. That’s why we precisely need universal designs,” he said.

Moving to such designs will also help achieve the target under Sustainable Development Goals to provide universal access to safe, inclusive, and accessible green and public spaces to women, children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities by 2030, he said.

Recalling the use of technology in handling the COVID situation better, he said the Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) under the Smart City Mission served as war rooms and also played a vital role in the incubation of smart solutions.

The minister said Delhi was going to witness certain developments in the near future that would not only be major landmarks but also represent a paradigm shift in the approach towards urban development.

“By August 15 next year, all smart cities across the country would have fully functional integrated Control and Command Centres, he said.

Asking people to be sensitive toward those suffering from disabilities, he said, “We need citizen-centric and participatory solutions that create an ecosystem where Indians are more empathetic to the needs of persons with disabilities. Sustainable and universally accessible spaces need to be built.”

Puri bestowed awards on distinguished innovations and start-ups. He also took stock of smart solutions by different groups and entities at an exhibition here.

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By IANS Updated: Sep 01, 2022 7:30:43 pm
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