SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court has directed Director, School of Architecture and Planning to appoint a committee of experts as well as certain students to examine Access Audit Checklist, for taking our disability audit of public buildings in the state, and to make necessary changes for its implementation.
The court called for a report in this regard to be filed within a month.
Access Audit Checklist has been written for access audit of public buildings as a part of the Accessible India Campaign.
The court while taking the litigation related to problems faced by differently-abled people in J&K had called for disability audit of all public buildings and the Nipman Foundation was requested for assistance.
The Nipman Foundation works in the areas of Health, Dignity and Happiness for Persons with Disabilities and the underprivileged sections of the society. The foundation has a team of trained accessibility auditors who have audited and provided recommendations for disability friendly infrastructure including Delhi Metro, Rajghat, Tihar, Mandoli and Rohini Jails, Delhi Haat, Supreme Court and has also worked with the Election Commission and the Indian Railways Committee.
The court after being informed about the works carried out by the foundation with respect to auditing and disability sensitization training programs directed Tourism department to ensure that trainers from the foundation be provided appropriate facilities.
Also, Social Welfare Department (SWD) was directed to bear all expenses of the trainers who shall start the program in the state within four weeks.
The court also directed that a copy of sensitization training program for differently-abled persons be placed before Chief Secretary of the state who shall appoint a nodal officer for carrying out the training programs.
The direction was also made to secretaries of all the departments to appoint nodal officers who shall nominate officers for training purpose.
Meanwhile court also directed for the District Court at Moominabad, Srinagar to be audited by Nipman Foundation.
On previous hearing court had directed academic institutions to provide enabling environment to differently-abled people so that they can pursue their careers and move forward in academic excellence.
Earlier, a letter dated 18 August 2018 was addressed to the Chief Justice’s Secretariat from the office of Humanity Welfare Organization Helpline, complaining that rights of disabled persons in J&K state are not in tune with the Disabilities Act. It was pointed out in the letter that no legislation akin to the Central National Trust Act 1999 has been passed, and as a result, persons with disabilities are deprived of welfare, care and protection schemes under Central Legislation.