Ahmedabad: Two top government initiatives Smart Cities and Accessible India converged at Habitat Conclave, as experts discussed `Sugamya’ smart cities as part of the technical sessions on Sunday . Kamlesh Pandey , chief commissioner for persons with disabilities (CCPD) of government of India’s ministry of social justice & empowerment (MSJE), and Sanjay Nandan, commissioner (disabilities) of government of Gujarat also participated in the discussion along with activists and NGO representatives. Pranav Desai, an NRI and advisor to MSJE, addressed the gathering from the US.
He elaborated on the idea of disability and drew parallels between infrastructure of developed and developing nations. ” As per estimates, India has around seven crore differently-abled persons. If we assume an average family size at five members, the issue is affecting 35 crore Indians. Technology and government policy is the only answer to amalgamate the disabled in mainstream,” he said.
Joy Doctor, a volunteer with Voice of Specially-abled People (SAP), a national NGO, said that the discussion is timely , as a lot of infrastructure is still in the making.