1200 government buildings in Maharashtra to become disabled-friendly: Commissioner PwD

1200 government buildings in Maharashtra to become disabled-friendly: Commissioner PwD

1200 government buildings in Maharashtra to become disabled-friendly: Commissioner PwDPravin Puri says this at a capacity building workshop by NCPEDP in Pune

Pune, January 31: In an effort to promote inclusivity and empower the disabled students, the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) partnered with Bajaj Finserv Limited in 2023 to introduce a scholarship program for disabled students in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. As part of its endeavor to raise awareness on the Scholarship, NCPEDP in collaboration with Centre for Disability Studies and Inclusive Education, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) organized a capacity building workshop on Wednesday.

The program, providing scholarships of up to Rs 1 lakh, aims to support 100 disabled students across various education levels, including Secondary, Senior Secondary, and Higher Education.

The event, supported by Bajaj Finserv, provided a platform for experts from different fields to share insights on disability laws in India. It also aimed to foster comprehension of various skills essential for excelling in both academic studies and professional careers among students with disabilities. The Pune workshop featured informative sessions led by experts.

While reaffirming the organization’s commitment to providing quality education to disabled students, Arman Ali, the Executive Director of NCPEDP, shared insights on the necessity of infrastructural accessibility. He stated, “Unless we change the infrastructure, it is difficult to convert persons with disabilities into assets. Given the substantial number of people with disabilities in India, they should be recognized as an important segment with the capacity to contribute to the country’s economy, and this is not possible without education.”

Pravin Puri, IAS, Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Maharashtra, shared that the state has taken various steps to promote and implement the RPwD Act 2016, ensuring accessibility in public buildings.

Puri also mentioned that a comprehensive action plan has been prepared to make 1200 identified public buildings accessible. Additionally, concerned departments have been directed to allocate separate budgets within their respective domains. Since 2016, the department has issued an order to establish redressal cells in all government departments and agencies.

Highlighting the importance of seeking recourse through the disability court, Puri stated that the state has started adhering to the RPwD Act 2016 by identifying government employment posts and incorporating a redressal mechanism in future job advertisements to address the exclusion of persons with disabilities and uphold their rights. He also affirmed that in Maharashtra, local self-government has allocated a 5% budget for schemes and programs for persons with disabilities, underscoring the importance of public awareness regarding the implementation of these provisions.

Suresh Gosavi, Vice Chancellor of SPPU, shared that the institute is actively working to make the campus accessible and inclusive for all students. He also mentioned that the ideas and suggestions discussed in the workshop will contribute to the development of a white paper focusing on infrastructural and digital accessibility. While acknowledging existing drawbacks, Gosavi assured that efforts will be made to enhance campus accessibility.

The Pune workshop engaged over 100 participants, including students with disabilities, students without disabilities, teachers, and parents. The sessions offered valuable insights and facilitated knowledge-sharing, fostering a deeper understanding of disability rights and related issues.

The NCPEDP-Bajaj Finserv Scholarship program is a commitment to promote inclusivity and empower disabled students through education by providing them with all the necessary resources. It helps them be prepared to explore opportunities that come their way and excel in academics.