App to help ease accessibility issues differently abled face in buildings, transport system

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The ministry of social justice and empowerment is set to launch a mobile application which will allow the differently abled, elderly and even Covid-19 patients to lodge accessibility-related problems in buildings or transport infrastructure by simply clicking and uploading pictures from their mobile phones.

Sugamya Bharat app is part of the ministry’s efforts to ensure a barrier free environment in government and other buildings as well as transport systems.

In a letter dated October 7, the department of empowerment of persons with disabilities secretary, Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, has said that a decision was taken by the prime minister’s office in July 2019 for crowdsourcing a mobile app to enable persons with disabilities to register their complaints regarding access to places by uploading photographs.

She said the Sugamya Bharat app would allow public participation in such issues faced by not just the differently abled but also pregnant women, children, and those who are temporarily disabled owing to illness, surgery etc.

The department has also made a provision in the app for registering Covid-related issues, the official said in the letter.

A project management unit has also been set up for running it. According to Gamlin, once someone has raised an issue or lodged a complaint about difficulty in accessing a building or a facility by uploading a picture and briefly describing the problem, the social justice ministry team would forward it to the concerned authorities. If the matter is not addressed soon, it will be taken up with the head of the department of the particular body. Reminders will be sent and the it would be followed up till the issue is addressed.

Gamlin also asked every ministry and department to designate a senior officer as the nodal officer so that issues can be taken up and resolved.

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