Dimapur, September 19: Nagaland Chief Secretary, Temjen Toy today called for making all public Government buildings in the State accessible to person with disability and to create a barrier free environment.
Toy lamented that despite various notifications issued by the Social Welfare Department to various departments on addressing the issue on accessibility of public buildings and office buildings, the response is still very poor. He informed that a team has been formed to monitor the activities taken by various departments in the directorate, districts and public buildings.
Launching a 3-day sensitization & awareness campaign on ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act 2016′ for State Government officials in the Nagaland Civil Secretariat conference hall on Thursday, the CS directed that henceforth all office memorandums and notifications must be updated in the web as per the accessibility guidelines.
The programme was organised by Mission Mode Team, Accessible India Campaign, in collaboration with the Office of State Commissioner for Person with Disabilities with a view to sensitize and create awareness on Rights of PwDs.
Toy lamented that Nagas are aware of our rights only when it concerns us and least bothered about others’ rights. He said only after we start visualizing and putting ourselves in the shoes of the disabled then only the campaign will sink.
He said the differently-abled have rights and “we all need to appreciate and respect their rights.” He expressed hope that with the launching of the campaign, all departments will be adequately sensitised to address the needs of accessibility with respect to persons with disability.
State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Diethono Nakhro, in her power point presentation, gave an overview, status of implementation & way forward. She highlighted that persons with benchmark disability are those been certified by the appropriate certifying authority with 40% or more.
Diethono highlighted that the status of implementation of various provision of the Act in Nagaland is at zero level and there is no current data on disability. She expressed that Nagaland has a very poor track record of implementing disability laws and Nagaland is the only State in the entire country that does not have even a single proper disability rehabilitation facility resource centre.
She also emphasized on various issues, where public buildings & public spaces are yet to be made accessible and another big issue is lack of budgeting whereby there is perpetual shortage of funds for disability affairs.
She stated that inclusion and accessibility is not just about laws and the rule book, it is also about the desire to do the right and then reaching out and putting that little extra effort to make sure that no citizen is left out of life.
Director, Prodigal’s Home, Dimapur, K. Ela spoke on the disability scenario in Nagaland and highlighted the challenges and opportunities.
(Page News Service)