Accessible India Campaign (AIC) under the aegis of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) Ministry of SJ&E is a flagship campaign launched on 3rdDecember 2015 by the Prime Minister, with the vision to create a barrier-free environment for the ease of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). Implementation of the Campaign was based on making three essential aspects of daily living in everybody’s life universally accessible, namely; Built – up Environment, Transportation Systems and Information &Communication Eco-system.
Railways is an important means of transportation used by the general public. The DEPwD has been coordinating with Ministry of Railways to make railway platforms, ticket counters, toilets alongwith railway buildings accessible used by the public. Ministry of Railways has informed the DEPwD that they have made 639 out of 709 major railway stations accessible under AIC.
Lately, aMemorandum of Understanding was signed between Shakuntala D. Gamlin, Secretary, DEPwD, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and P.S.N. Rao, Director, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, on 27 July 2018 in the presence of senior officers of DEPwD and SPA, Delhi. The main purpose of the MoU between the DEPwD and SPA Delhi is to conduct verification audit of 10% major railway stations which have been made accessible.
The verification audit of 70 railway stations in 25 states will be completed within 6 months. In first phase, 15 important railways stations will be audited. Subsequently, 25 and 30 stations will be audited in second and third phase.
On receipt of verification audit reports, Ministry of Railways will take steps for any further modification and corrections if required, to improve accessibility of the stations.