Bangalore Mirror Report: Access Denied!

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"How can we create an "enabling" environment or do we continue to accept the way things are placed now?", asks Indian disability expert Mahesh Chandrasekar in the Bangalore Mirror.

"ACCESS DENIED" published in Bangalore Mirror, Dated 11 Dec 2007.

Following the International Day of Disabled Persons (3rd Dec 2007), I received a call from Bangalore Mirror to conduct a "Reality Check" to find how Bangalore City is placed in enabling persons with disabilities to lead an active/ independent life.

Can a person with disability undertake day-day-tasks such as walking on the footpath, buying grocery, selecting a book from a book store, going to a bakery, hotel, using the ATM, going by bus, selecting a favorite shirt, going to a movie etc.. freely and independently?

There are laws (Eg. 'Chapter VIII - Non-Discrimination' of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995) and guidelines issued by the Bangalore City Corporation under the building bye-laws "No. 31. Facilities for Physically Handicapped Persons" - that is applicable to all buildings having a covered area of 300 Sq Mts - But there was hardly any evidence of these provisions being implemented.

The verdict - "Except for some of the new shopping malls the rest of the places (the common/ everyday joints) are totally out of bounds for persons with disabilities".

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