Disability Rights Association of Goa (DRAG) has called for a survey of all the disabled persons in the state to facilitate proper planning and micromanaging of the facilities and benefits assigned to the disabled. DRAG wants the survey to be completed by March 31 this year with the help of Panchayats and Municipalities in the state.
DRAG delegation consisting of twenty three members met the Commissioner for Disabilities, Anuradha Joshi and put forth their demands and suggestions with reference to issues related to disabled in Goa. DRAG demanded the formation of a special educator association to organize all those involved in educating the disabled under one roof.
Given the fact that many people with disability are self-employed with small and medium businesses of their own the association has also put forth a request for the formation of marketing federation for products of disabled. DRAG has also demanded that Panchayats and municipalities should have special quota reserved for disabled when allotting shops and kiosks within their jurisdiction. DRAG also wants inclusive education to be promoted in the state through well chalked out awareness campaigns.
The department of persons with disabilities, ministry of social justice and empowerment launched the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) last year to increase accessibility to public buildings, spaces, transport, and information and communication services. In order to avoid discrepancies in the listing of buildings which are inaccessible and which will be made accessible under the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) DRAG has asked for uploading of pictures of inaccessible places all over Goa on accessible India website. This listing DRAG feels will help curb misappropriate funds allocated for increasing accessibility to public buildings, spaces, transport, and information and communication services under the campaign by the local authorities . DRAG had earlier pointed out that of the 31 buildings listed as inaccessible and which will be made accessible under the campaign, 15 are already accessible to persons with disabilities.
The other demands put forth by DRAG include filling of backlog of vacancies in Government jobs and organisation of sensitization programme through the media. Goa Cabinet in its last meeting had approved the appointment of Anuradha Joshi as the Commissioner for Disability Commission.