Millennium Post

Prominent Durga Pujas in Kolkata inaccessible to disabled: NGO

Kolkata: A city-based NGO on Monday said that over 70 per cent big banner Durga Pujas here have failed to provide adequate equipment and accessibility for the disabled which goes against the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act passed in 2016.
Claiming that the puja organisers were mostly reluctant to provide infrastructure like wheelchair and ramp inside the marquees for the convenience of the disabled, the organisation said there was a lack of sensitivity for the disabled.
"Though some of the pandals (marquees) have been disabled-friendly, 71 per cent of the big banner pujas in Kolkata are falling behind in providing adequate equipment and a common pandal-going experience for all. There has been a prominent discrimination against the disabled persons," a release from the Civilian Welfare Foundation said.
"There have been wheel chairs in all the pandals. However, the wheel chairs were mostly inaccessible at the time of visit (by the NGO members). Pandals created stairs instead of ramps or made separate accessways beside the normal access point for general public, thus denying the person with disability the major attractions of the pandals," it claimed.
The release further said that there has been a lack of basic sensitivity and understanding about accessibility among the big pujas in the city in spite of the central governments campaigns of accessible India.

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