Beyond Barriers- Incredible India INDEX Introduction VisionMission Statement Objectives
Beyond Barriers- Incredible IndiaIntroduction Tourism comprises a blend of entertainment, exploration, relaxation, cultural enrichment and education. It serves as a get away from routine and monotony. It rejuvenates and relaxes a person when away from the usual environment. India is one such tourist destination where culture echoes, tradition speaks, beauty enthrals and diversity delights. It is a vivid kaleidoscope of landscapes, magnificent historical sites, misty mountain retreats, colourful people, rich cultures and festivities. People with Disabilities (PwDs) have the same rights as per the constitution of the country. The Indian Constitution stresses that all should be treated equally. Then why do those with disability get no equal treatment or ‘barrier-free accessibility’, be it travel, sport or job opportunities? They have equal right to travel with dignity and grace and access to all tourism infrastructures. All are entitled to the freedom to travel and enjoy the natural beauty and sights of the country. Disabled tourists, in western countries are far more independent and travel freely because of barrier free infrastructure. PWDs from India who visit such locations can travel independently and explore many tourist destinations than our own country. This is very sad. Studies glaringly reflect an estimated statistics that about 10% of India’s population comprise of people with disability. Add to these senior citizens, temporarily injured, pregnant women, heart patients. Can you believe that this could make up more for than half of our entire population? Truly shocking! Though different from each other, these groups, too, need similar infrastructure and facilities to support their mobility in day to day life and make their life more productive than what it presently is. What most people consider as normal circumstances, NOW CONSIDER that which is mentioned here below with PWDs in mind: (a) Inaccessibility in transportation like buses, trains, taxis, railways, (b) Lack of facilities in hotels, guest houses, circuit houses, resorts, boathouses, clubs,etc. (c) Lack of access to tourist sites like, monuments, heritage structures, museums, tourist spots in general discourages them to venture out for vacation. In India majority of tourism service providers do not, understand the economic and social significance to create barrier-free tourism. There is insufficient integration of the planning and development of the built environment and tourism development, both within and across countries. The current status for tourism for people with disability is negligible.
Beyond Barriers- Incredible India Then ‘why not PUSH it’ was what set the ball rolling for these FOUR with farsight! Arvind Prabhoo, Nishant Khade, Sunita Sancheti and Neenu Kewlani, all wheelchair users who love to travel are now taking up for this cause with vehemance and perseverance so that others, like them, too can travel independently in comfort. These ‘Adventurous Four’, as popular author Enid Blyton would have called them, are enterprising individuals who inspite of their disabilities, are keen that members in society like them are given equal opportunity when it comes to travelling and tourism. They decided to vehemently take up this important issue of Tourism for PWDs as they have personally experienced challenges and issues faced by PWDs (People with Disabilities (PwDs). They shall carry out a campaign under the aegis of Vijay Merchant Rehabilitation Centre For The Disabled (VMRCD) Vijay Merchant Rehabilitation Centre For The Disabled (VMRCD) established in 1988 by philanthropist, late Shri Vijay Merchant, is a charitable trust registered with the Charity Commissioner, Maharashtra, in April 1988 and Income Tax Department Trust Cell having an IT exemption certificate under section 80G of the Income Tax Act. By making one or two places of tourist interest accessible for PWDs in each state, VMRCD firmly believes in seeing our country barrier free, a tourist destination for all.Vision VMRCD firmly believes in seeing India, our beautiful country, barrier free, a tourist destination for all and truly treat ALL as equal.Mission Statement Around INDIA in 80 days. To travel across India, visit 28 state capital and 40 cities covering approx 16000 kms in 81 days, for hands on experience and assessment of accessibility across the entire country.
Beyond Barriers- Incredible IndiaObjectives ü The team to travel across the country by road. Visit 28 states and 40 cities covering approx 16000 kms in 81 days. ü To visit at least 2 tourist destinations in each state and conduct an access audit. To do so in collaboration with a local NGO working in the disability sector and State Tourism Department. ü To meet Chief Minister and Disability Commissioner of every state and brief them about barrier free tourism. Barrier Free Tourism a MUST on their PRIORITY AGENDA. ü Submit the access audit report and other observations to the State Tourism Board, Chief Minister, Disability Commissioner and Indian Tourism Department Corporation (ITDC) ü To encourage Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to replicate the Access 4 All model of car rental service for PWDs. ü To network with other NGOs, active groups and govt agencies working in the disability sector. Sensitize them and promote the importance and need of Barrier Free Tourism for All.Meet Our Four Adventurers
Beyond Barriers- Incredible India The team will take off on 28th September 2011, by road. The team has chalked out a suitable travel plan. The states and cities have been earmarked. The midway points between each state has been identified. The team will visit following statesSl. State Cities Tourist Destinations to beNo visited/ audited1 Maharashtra Mumbai, Chiplun2 Union Territory - NIL Daman3 Union Territory - NIL Silvassa4 Union Territory- Delhi Lal Qila, Humayun Tomb5 Union Territory- Aurobindo Ashram, Quite Pondicherry beach6 Gujarat Gandhinagar, Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad Akshardham7 Madhya Pradesh Indore, Bhopal Lalbaug Palace, Bharat Bhavan, Archeological Musuem8 Rajasthan Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur Ranthambore Park, Hawa Mahal/ City Palace9 Punjab Ludhiana, Amritsar Golden Temple, Maharaja Ranjitsingh Fort10 Jammu & Kashmir Jammu, Srinagar Gulmarg (Gondola), Dal Lake11 Himachal Pradesh Shimla Viceregal Lodge, Himachal State Museum & Library.12 Haryana Chandigarh Nek Chand Fantasy garden, Garden of Fragrance/ Rose13 Uttarakhand Dehradun, Haridwar Ram Rai Darbar, Mindrolling Monastry, Har Ki Pairi Ghat, Mansa Devi Temple14 Uttar Pradesh Moradabad, Lucknow State Museum, Bara Imambara15 Bihar Patna Qila House, Khuda Baksh Library16 Sikkim Gangtok Enchey gompa, Himalayan Zoological Park17 Assam Guwahati Sukreshwar Park, Umanda Mandir18 Meghalaya Shillong Saint Cathedral, Wards Lake19 Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar Gaykersinyi, Nehru Museum, Sanctuary20 Nagaland Kohima War Cemetry, State Museum21 Manipur Imphal Bir Tir Kendrajit Park, Govindaji Temple, Manipur State Museum22 Mizoram Aizwal Salvation Army Temple, State Musuem
Beyond Barriers- Incredible India23 Tripura Agartala Ujjaynta Palace, Jaganath Temple24 West Bengal Cooch Behar, Kolkatta Rajbari ( Royal Palace), Science City, Motherhouse25 Jharkhand Ranchi Tribal Museum26 Chhattisgarh Raipur NIL27 Orissa Bhubhaneshwar Regional Science Centre, Udayagiri & Khandagiri Caves28 Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad Chowmallah Palace, Ramoji City29 Tamil Nadu Tirupati, Chennai Tirupati temple, Vivekanand House, Enfield Factory30 Kerala Thiruvananthpuram Veli Tourist Park31 Karnataka Bengaluru, Shimoga Iskon Temple, Tipu Sultan Palace, Hal Aeropspace,32 Goa Basilica of Bom Jesus, Rama Fort Arvind and Nishant will be travelling separately, by their own respective cars. Each car will have 2 drivers and 2 care givers. Sunita and Neenu will travel together in a rented car. They will be accompanied by 2 female care givers. A reputed Hotel Group which has properties in all or majority of the States and cities and can provide accessibility will sponsor the Team stay. Similarly, Government guest houses that are accessible will also be approached. Furthermore, the Team will tie up with a reputed Hospital Group and Insurance Company. Other Corporate sponsors are most welcome!
Beyond Barriers- Incredible IndiaTo keep posted all those seriously interested in their Mission The Team,will share their experiences through daily updates that will be put onfacebook.com and twitter.com with periodic video uplink onyoutube.comFor a gigantic mission like this, a very strong Media and PR coverage isrequired. The Team plans to invite the mammoth support of a popular TVchannel, Newspaper Group and Radio Station. All of them will cover andfurther the effects of this ‘on-the-wheels’ campaign at a National level.Media will play a crucial role to create and sustain social awareness. Theywill also witness the challenges, and difficulties faced by the Team whileexploring the tourist destinations across the country. This will hopefullyalso be an impetus for authorities who matter to take action on highpriority basis to implement the existing laws and issue orders to theHospitality sector to incorporate facilities for all within a certain time-frame.The Team plans to return by the third week of December 2011.Thereafter, a press conference will be organised that will also showcase ashort film, reflecting the journey, highlighting the observations andexperience of the Team.A comprehensive report will be submitted to The Prime Minister andperiodic follow-up will be conducted by VMRCD.Now, do YOU understand why we need your support in making ourcountry, barrier-free for all.So, COME, JOIN us in our achievable mission to make our India, a touristdestination that is accessible and absolutely barrier-free.We DEPEND on you, so JOIN US in our achievable mission to make ourIndia, a great tourist destination, barrier free for all.Please visit the link belowwww.facebook.com/fearlessfourYour suggestions and support will be appreciated.