The Union Government released "Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index" that measures the actions and attitudes of different organisations towards disabled employees and persons.
Venkaiah Naidu at the event:
After releasing the index Mr. Venkaiah Naidu said that disabled persons can realise their potential in an enabling environment.
He called for enabling access to them in built up environment including buildings and workplaces, public transportation and Information and Communication Technology eco-system.
The Minister called for changes in stigmatised attitudes and responses to disabled persons to make them contribute to different walks of community life.
Mr. Naidu stated that out of every one lakh population in the country, 1,755 persons have one or the other disability. About 8.40% of rural households and 6.10% of urban households were reported to have at least one disabled person.
The Minister noted that about 47% of the disabled were never married and about 55% are illiterate. "These statistics suggest that society's inadequate and improper responses to the disabled persons make their lives more difficult and challenging" Mr. Naidu said.
The minister called for provision of ramps in public buildings, adaptation of toilets for wheelchair users, things like Braille symbols in elevators and lifts, ramps in hospitals and other public places like bus and railway stations, airports to provide easy access to disabled persons.
He expressed the hope that one day a differently abled person would scale Mount Everest as evidence of disabled persons overcoming the barriers.
Motivational examples given:
Referring to various disabled persons who overcame disabilities, Mr. Naidu mentioned Ms. Sudha Chandran who became a renowned classic dancer after one of her legs was amputated, blind Mr. Ravindra Jain who emerged as a musical maestro.
Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index:
Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index enables the organisations to reflect on their policies and organisational culture in aid and support of differently abled persons, employment of such persons and adaptations to meet the needs of such persons at work places. The Index based on which organisations can be ranked, encourages them to recruit more disabled persons and give them equal opportunities.