Tourism Ministry to make tourist facilities barrier free

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New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) With physically challenged and older people becoming a growing group of consumers of travel, sports and other leisure oriented products and services, the Ministry of Tourism wants to tap it for promotion of tourism destinations in the country.

The Ministry has therefore, taken an initiative to make the tourist facilities being created with central financial assistance barrier free. For this purpose, the Ministry organised a workshop in association with Svayam, a Delhi based NGO on creation of disabled friendly environment at tourist destinations to sensitise the engineers of the State Tourism Corporations, ITDC and officials of Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) about the special needs of people with disabilities.

The objective was to sensitise the stakeholders towards the needs of physically challenged and motivate them to implement accessible facilities.

Inaugurating the workshop Shilabhadra Banerjee, Secretary (Tourism), stressed on the need for making the tourist destinations barrier free for the benefit of disabled and elderly people.

He said it makes sense to provide special facilities to the physically challenged people because this group is now willing to travel to different tourist destinations, which provide accessibility and also has surplus funds to spend. Moreover, the accessible environment created for disabled people is also used by people with limited mobility and the elderly, he added.

The team of experts of Svayam, trained by UN ESCAP at APCD, Bangkok conducted the workshop. The representative of the ASI shared the experience of making Qutab Complex barrier free. The representative of Delhi Transport Corporation also explained the efforts being made by them to provide accessible public transport to such people in Delhi.

The workshop was followed by a site visit to Qutab Complex which has been made barrier free by the ASI with the assistance of Svayam.

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