Svayam Accessibility Awards 2018 (Taiwan Edition) – Winner’s List

New Delhi | 14th Nov 2018

We are extremely happy to share that on the basis of recommendations of the Board of Jury, following organisations are being selected for bestowing the “Svayam Accessibility Awards 2018 (Taiwan Edition)” in different categories.


  1. Institute of Transportation, Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), Taiwan
  2. The Bureau of Transportation, Taichung City Government, Taiwan


  1. North Coast & Guanyinshan National Scenic Area Administration, Tourism Bureau, MOTC, Taiwan 


  1. Best Practice (Accessible Transport) : Bureau of Transportation, Tainan City Government, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
  2. Best Practice (Accessible Hospitality) : – OurCityLove Social Enterprise Co., Ltd., Taiwan
  3. Best Practice (Comprehensive rehabilitation & accessibility services for Persons with Disabilities)- Eden Social Welfare Foundation, Taiwan
  4. Best Practice [Accessible Transport (Taxi service)] Joint Award to The Yulon Group, Taiwan and the OurCityLove Social Enterprise, Taiwan
  5. Best Practice (Rehabilitation of People with Intellectual Disabilities) – Children Are Us Social Welfare Foundation, Taiwan

Details of the Award Ceremony 

The award ceremony will be held on the sidelines of the 15th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for the Elderly and the Disabled Persons (TRANSED2018, Taipei),  as per the following details:  

Venue:  Banquet Hall, Taipei International Convention Centre (TICC),                                            1 Hsin-Yi Road, Section 5, Taipei 11049, Taiwan (ROC)

Date & Time:     14th November, 6 PM – 8 PM

Heartiest congratulations to all the Winners and we hope this award becomes another milestone to renew our commitments to achieve a better, liveable, sustainable and inclusive world for all of us!

Hashtags: Sustainable TransportSvayam Accessibility AwardsSvayam EventsSvayam Press ReleasesTRANSED ConferencesTransportation Research Boardurban mobility  Accessible TourismAccessible TransportSvayam Accessibility AwardsSvayam EventsTRANSED2018 Conference

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Svayam Accessibility Awards 2018 Update- 10 entries shortlisted for finals!!

New Delhi  |  05th Nov 2018

We are encouraged by an overwhelming response to the ‘Call for Nomination for Svayam Accessibility Awards 2018 (Taiwan)’. The Jury consisting of national and international experts have shortlisted 10 applications for final review.

Each of these applicants have proven record of mobility, transportation and accessibility related projects implemented in the territory of Taiwan on the thematic areas. The award ceremony will coincide with the 15th International conference on Mobility and Transport for the Elderly and the Disabled Persons (TRANSED2018, Taipei), scheduled to be held during 12-15 November 2018 at Taipei, Taiwan.

We thank our jury members for shortlisting the top 10 agencies/organizations. The names of finalist organizations with their respective categories are as below:

S.No. Names of Organization Category/categories
1 Children Are Us Social Welfare Foundation (CAREUS) Best Practice Project
2 The Bureau of Transportation, Taichung City Government Accessible Public Transport
3 Eden Social Welfare Foundation Best Practice Project
4 Yulon Group & OurCityLove Social Enterprise Taiwan Best Practice Project (Transport)
5 OurCityLove Social Enterprise Co., Ltd., Taiwan Best Practice Project (Hospitality)
6 Bureau of Transportation, Tainan City Government, Taiwan Accessible Public Transport
7 Institute of Transportation, MOTC Accessible Public Transport
8 Chiayi City Government Accessible Tourist Attraction/ Heritage Site
9 National Taiwan Museum Accessible Tourist Attraction/ Heritage Site
10 North Coast & Guanyinshan National Scenic Area Administration, Tourism Bureau, MOTC, Taiwan Accessible Tourist Attraction/ Heritage Site

We congratulate all ‘Finalists’ who made it to this prestigious and coveted list. Keep your fingers crossed and watch this space for the final results to be declared on 14 Nov. 2018!!



Posted in Sustainable Transport, Svayam Accessibility Awards, Svayam Events, Svayam Press Releases, TRANSED Conferences, Transportation Research Board, urban mobility | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Svayam’s suggestions find place in TRAI’s Full Recommendations on making ICT Accessible for Persons with Disabilities

We are happy to share that most of the suggestions made by Svayam on Consultation Paper on ‘Making ICT accessible for Persons with Disabilities’ have found place in the  Full Recommendations released by TRAI on 09 July 2018.  

July 09, 2018 | New Delhi

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had issued a Consultation Paper on  ‘Making ICT Accessible for Persons with Disabilities’ dated 20 December 2017.  Stakeholders were requested to send their comments by 22 January 2018, and counter comments by 05 February 2018.

Svayam, as a leading accessibility rights organization, was on the forefront in submitting its comments and recommendations, as well as counter comments.

Open House Discussion by TRAI on Consultation Paper on making ICT Accessible for Persons with Disabilities

Open House Discussion organised by TRAI on 05 Apr 2018

Later, TRAI held an open house discussion on 05th April 2018, where Svayam team participated and strengthened its case for accessible information and communication technologies (ICT), and why its recommendations should be considered for framing a policy for Inclusive ICT for all. 

The Full Recommendations released by TRAI have been submitted to the Government of India for framing a National Policy. 

Svayam’s Suggestions which became part of TRAI’s Recommendations:     

Many ideas and comments submitted by Svayam have found place in TRAI’s recommendations; some of them are given below:

2.3: All 21 disabilities listed under the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016‘should be covered under any proposed framework. Cognitive disabilities, learning disabilities, locomotive disabilities, and degenerative diseases should also be incorporated into any proposed framework.

2.18: The Authority (TRAI) recommends that in order to ensure accessibility of ICT services to the PwDs a steering committee under aegis of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities should be formed.

2.19: Access to assistive technologies: In order to ensure barrier-free interaction with the digital world, it is essential that assistive technologies are free or available at a low cost through subsidies or grants. It is imperative to either make devices accessible or ensure that devices are compatible with third party assistive technologies. There is also a need for training of PwDs and those who assist them on the use of technologies and features made available.

Accessible services and interfaces: To ensure complete and equal participation in the digital world, PwDs require services and interfaces that ensure that content on television, Internet or in other electronic media is available in accessible formats – for instance, through the use of closed captions for users who are deaf or hard of hearing and audio description for users who are blind or visually impaired. There is also need to undertake awareness campaigns on the availability of accessible content.

Inaccessible customer services: PwDs face challenges accessing customer services offered by telecom service providers. Customer services need to be redesigned to addresses the specific needs of persons with disabilities.

2.29: In India, RPWD Act,2016 envisaged that there is need to take measures to ensure that all content available in audio, print and electronic media are in accessible format. So far as ICT accessibility is concerned the Authority is of the view that the telecom service providers need to provide telephone/DTH bills to the PWDs in accessible form based on their choice. For the persons with low vision, telephone/mobile bills can be provided in large font size, blind persons can opt to get the telephone bill in Braille script.

2.44: The Authority is of the view that every service provider (TSPs/MSO/DTH) should have dedicated customer support desk meant only for PwDs so that any call received from them should be directed/diverted to that desk.

2.45: Apart from having a dedicated desk it is also important to ensure that the customer support/service staff employed by TSPs and broadcasters are adequately trained to assist PwDs in accessing the services and devices designed for them.

2.46 (d): TSPs, MSOs/DTH and PSAP operators should ensure that the executives that deal with PwD customers have been given sensitivity training from time to time so as to understand and deal with the issue raised by PwDs.

2.51: The Authority recommends that DoT and MIB may instruct TSPs and DTH/MSOs to conduct frequent awareness campaigns regarding issues of accessibility, design, affordability and information pertaining to assistive products available to PwDs and the various government policies/schemes pertaining to accessible ICT that can be availed by PwDs.

2.52: The universal design principles should be adopted instead of developing a model specifically for PwDs.

2.54: The Authority is of the view that every mobile manufacturer who produces 5 or more different models of mobile handsets should provide at least one mobile handset satisfying the accessibility criteria for PwDs.

2.55: the Authority recommends every mobile manufacturer who produces 5 or more different models of mobile handsets should provide at least one mobile handset satisfying the accessibility criteria for PwDs as enumerated in the recommendations.

2.67: The Authority recommends that the Government should mandate all the government agencies that in procurement of ICT products viz Computer hardware, mobile phones, Set Top Boxes, it should be mandatory that these are accessible to PwDs.

2.90: Grips for improved stability (mobile phones)

Chapter-III – Summary of recommendations:

3:2: The Authority recommends that in order to ensure accessibility of ICT services to the PwDs a steering committee under aegis of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities should be formed.

3.2 (c): Formulate guidelines and suggest an implementation and monitoring mechanism so as to improve ICT accessibility for PwDs.

3.5 (b): TSPs, MSOs and DTH Operators should have a special desk in their Call Centres/Customer support centres where calls received from special category numbers are routed to this specialised desk which should be manned by person(s) to receive calls from PwDs using assistive technologies.

3.5 (d): TSPs, MSOs/DTH and PSAP operators should ensure that the executives that deal with PwD customers have been given sensitivity training from time to time so as to understand and deal with the issues raised by PwDs.

3.7: Every mobile manufacturer who produces 5 or more different models of mobile handsets should provide at least one mobile handset satisfying the accessibility criteria for PwDs as enumerated in the recommendations. This may be achieved by the end of 2020.

3.9: The Authority recommends that the Government should mandate all government agencies that in procurement of ICT products viz Computer hardware, mobile phones, Set Top Boxes, it should be mandatory that these are accessible to PwDs.

3.11 (d): Closed captioning control and display options.

3.12: The Authority recommends that broadcasting channels may be developed in accessible format too for PwDs with audio & visual impairment.

We hope that recommendations submitted by TRAI would soon be accepted by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) Govt. of India for framing a national policy which is crucial for standardization of Inclusive ICT Norms. It will help include a large segment of  persons with disabilities in the mainstream., which as per the World Bank Report (2007) titled ‘People with Disabilities in India: from Commitments to Outcomes’, comprise between 4 and 8 percent of the Indian population. 

Also, the population of senior citizens is about 10-12 % of the total population which is  expected to grow more than 2.8 per cent and make up one-fifth of the total population by 2025-2030. (Report by WHO). Accessibility of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can play a great role in not only improving the quality of life but also tapping the potentials of such a huge number of India’s citizenry.

For achieving a truly inclusive information society, persons with disabilities must be able to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) with equal ease. This can be made possible only if the accessibility of ICTs is on the top of the agenda of manufacturers and service providers. Though, it makes business sense to attract persons with disabilities with ICTs having accessibility features, manufacturers failed to tap this opportunity.  Hence, a stringent policy is required to ensure persons with disabilities get what they need. A comprehensive plan is needed to adopt accessible operating system for product development and service divisions to include everyone.

Downloads Available 

(a) Full Recommendations by TRAI to the DoT, 09 July 2018

(b) Svayam’s Comments submitted to TRAI, Jan 2018


Posted in Access to Television, Accessibility in Banks and ATMs, ICT for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, Persons with Disabilities | Leave a comment

Svayam Founder delivers a ‘Motivational Talk’ at the Base Hospital Delhi Cantt

New Delhi | 12 May 2018

On the invitation of the Base Hospital Delhi Cantt,  Ms. Sminu Jindal, Chairperson-Svayam,  visited Base Hospital to deliver a ‘Motivational Talk’ to the injured soldiers and their family members, doctors and hospital staff, on 11th May 2018. She was received by Major General Manu Arora, The Commandant, Base Hospital Delhi Cantt.

Ms. Sminu Jindal,  delivering the motivational talk at Base Hospital Delhi Cantt

During her motivational talk, Ms. Jindal talked about the initial struggles of her life, and shared that looking at life positively despite disabilities or age is the key to success and happiness.

“When you acquire a disability, you have two options; what you can do, and what you cannot do. Instead of regretting what you cannot do, it is vital that you focus on your existing abilities and see what you can do with those abilities.” said Ms. Jindal.

“Sitting at home like a sad man cannot be a choice. Don’t give anyone an excuse to call you or make you feel ‘बेचारा’ (hapless), she continued. Sharing her own life story, she added, “Due to an accident at the age of 11, I became a wheelchair user for the rest of my life. Apprehensive that others might make fun of me, I did not want to go to school, and instead wanted to study at home. However, my parents ensured that I got a normal school education, so that I could grow and do things like any other child. That way, my parents did not give me any excuse to feel  ‘’बेचारा’ !

Ms. Jindal told the rehabilitating soldiers, “I can only give you an outlook. I always admired the soldiers who fight at the borders for others. When you did not bow down in the battlefield on the border, please do not bow down in the battlefield of life. Life is also a war, so fight it and figure out your own path.”

Ms. Sminu Jindal speaking to officers of the Base Hospital Delhi Cantt.

Talking about accessibility and the need of greater awareness, the Svayam founder said: “The prevailing misconception that ramps, lifts and accessible technologies are only for the disabled, need to be demolished. We all need accessibility for ease and safety. Accessibility is a ray of hope which ensures that we can go out and earn our living with dignity. Accessible built environment is crucial to tap the enormous talents in persons with reduced mobility.”

“No matter how long or dark the tunnel is, a single ray of light gives you hope – and  accessibility is that ray,” she added.

Ms. Jindal also emphasized that Svayam is pressing upon the government to build one accessible toilet in every village with local material and technology. “This will set an example for others to follow.”

“If our village schools have accessible toilets, our retired or rehabilitated soldiers living in the village can go out and teach. This is another dimension of inclusive education,” she added.

Ms. Jindal at the Base Hospital, Delhi Cantt

Ms. Jindal said: “We need to raise awareness. If voices are many, it will create an impact. Can we not add ‘सुगम्यता’ (accessibility) along with our usual demands – बिजली, पानी और सड़क (electricity, potable water & roads) ? The government has to realize that it needs to look at all sections of society. Then only, ‘सबका साथ, सबका विकास’  (inclusive development) will become a reality!”

She said: “The choice of our daily activities should depend on us, and not on our built environment. That’s why Svayam is working with ministries and government departments to ensure our public infrastructure is accessible. Also, merely making government buildings accessible is not enough, private buildings (open to public) also need to be accessible.”

While answering a query raised by a soldier, Ms. Jindal said: “A सैनिक  (soldier) never bows down before an enemy. But today, negativity might be your main enemy; would you bow down? No! you need to have a positive outlook towards life and lot of enthusiasm to beat this enemy.”

Encouraging the Indian armed forces to spread the awareness about importance of accessibility in built and virtual environment towards an more inclusive and caring society,  she also praised the work of Base Hospital Rehab Centre, and said that with good rehabilitation and counselling, injured soldiers and their family members can quickly learn to adapt and accept the challenges before them in the life with a positive mindset.

Major General Manu Arora, the Commandant, felicitated the Svayam Founder, and praised her initiatives of spreading such a positive, wonderful outlook towards life through her  initiative, Svayam. The Major General exhorted the soldiers and their families that there are shortcomings in everyone’s life, but we need to see what we can do with what we have, and what we can add. He also called upon the participants to link accessibility with their life’s missions.

Taking a cue from an article published in India Today in the year 1999 on the life and work of Ms. Jindal, Maj. Gen. Arora called Svayam Founder a person with true ‘nerves of steel’ and marveled at her achievements in the Indian Industry.

Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Director, Svayam, made a brief presentation to apprise the audience of his organization’s major projects and achievements in the area of advocacy and policy reforms to achieve the dream of an inclusive and enabling built environment to respect dignity of human lives.

Posted in Motivational Talk by Ms. Sminu Jindal, Ms. Sminu Jindal, Persons with Disabilities, Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Svayam, Svayam India | Leave a comment

Svayam led delegation meets DG, BCAS to discuss SoP to address problems faced by Persons with Disabilities during Security Screening at Airports

06 April, 2018, New Delhi

Svayam led delegation discussing the issues with the Director General, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS)

Svayam led delegation discussing changes in SoPs with DG, BCAS

A team of stakeholders led by Svayam met Shri Kumar Rajesh Chandra, Director General, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and his team of senior officials to discuss the challenges faced by persons with disabilities and those with reduced mobility during security screening at the Indian Airports. This was pursuant to the National Meeting of Stakeholders organised by Svayam to discuss issues faced during air travel by persons with disabilities and those with reduced mobility, on 22 November 2017, at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi, and consequent submission of our collated recommendations to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment & Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The meeting took place on 06th April 2018 at the BCAS HQ at Janpath Bhawan, New Delhi. The meeting offered yet another chance to stakeholders to actively participate in the process and negotiate for their demands for accessible, dignified air travel.

The stakeholders were represented at the meeting by Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth (Director, Svayam), Mr. Nipun Malhotra (CEO, Nipman Foundation) and Ms. Smitha Sadasivan (Member, Disability Rights Alliance).

Svayam led delegation discussing SoPs with the senior officials of the BCAS

Svayam led delegation discussing changes in SoPs with senior officials of BCAS

The DG, BCAS, at the outset, gave a brief background of the steps taken by the BCAS and assured the stakeholders that the BCAS would take the right steps in this direction to address the issues faced by disabled flyers. He also clarified that while BCAS deals with the issue of security related protocols, DGCA deals with issue of safety & passenger conveniences.

There was a point-wise discussion on the existing Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) and recommendations by the stakeholders as compiled by Svayam and submitted to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in December 2017. The BCAS officials informed that the Bureau had issued an Addendum dated 03rd October 2017 to the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) dated 31st March 2014   for screening passengers with special needs and medical conditions. But they agreed that these passengers still face difficulties and embarrassment, and hence more changes are required.  A copy of this Addendum can be accessed here and copy of SOPs here.

Some of the major issues which were discussed included; use of full body scanners, scanning orthosis and prosthesis without invading privacy or causing avoidable discomfort; screening of battery operated wheelchairs, poor quality of airport wheelchairs, allowing airport passes for non-travelling passenger/companion for persons with disabilities, relieving areas for service animals etc.

BCAS officials explained that while “Millimeter wave scanners” though considered safe, require persons to stand in a certain posture, hence it is not suitable for wheelchair users. Other forms of X-ray technologies are not considered due to privacy and radiation issues. Therefore, a mix of multiple security protocols (such as visual profiling, ETD, physical frisking) have to be deployed to scan the wheelchairs in addition to the scanners.

While the issue of prosthesis screening has been largely resolved for cases where the steel rod is discernible, the orthosis has remained a challenge as it uses foam padding to prevent injuries. Presence of foam raises suspicion, requiring deployment of intensive screening procedures to ensure there are no hidden weapons.

On the issue of oxygen cylinders and special medical equipment, the BCAS officials said that they would like to know the best practices from the stakeholders to improve on the screening procedures.

Protocols for screening of service animals is relevantly a new area and challenges were mainly in the areas of soft training of screening staff.  The officials promised to address this issue. It was felt that the availability of “relieving areas” for service animals at the airports was an issue in the domain of DGCA hence this would be taken up with relevant authorities in our next meet.

The stakeholders are requested to send their feedback/ comments, if any on the above issues or any additional issues related to security screening to

Posted in Accessible Transport, BCAS's SOPs for Screening of Passengers with Disabilities, Dignified Air Travel for Disabled, Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Svayam, Svayam Events, Svayam India, Svayam Press Releases | Leave a comment

Ms. Sminu Jindal exhorts Young Indians to work for accessibility at CII- Yi Summit TakePride-2018, Mumbai

10 March 2018, Mumbai

Svayam’s Founder-Chairperson Ms. Sminu Jindal today addressed the CII-Yi: Annual Youth Summit – TakePride 2018, held at the historic Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai, along with several visionary speakers fromMs. Sminu Jindal, Founder Svayam addressing CII-Yi: Annual Youth Summit – TakePride 2018, Mumbai across the sectors who spoke during the two-day annual event during 09-10 March 2018. These included Kamal Haasan (actor), Ajeet Khurana (Head – Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Committee of India), Anand Piramal (Founder – Piramal Realty), Arnav Ghosh (CEO – India, Blippar), Ashish Chauhan, (MD & CEO Bombay Stock Exchange), Balki R, (Filmmaker), Boman Irani (actor), Chandrajit Banerjee (Director General CII), Dia Mirza (actor), Dr. R. Mashelkar (renowned Scientist – Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan & Padma Vibhushan Honouree), Gauri Shinde (filmmaker), Krishnakumar T (President – Coca Cola India & Southwest Asia), Lavanya Nalli (Chairperson – Nalli Group), Madhukeshwar Desai (Vice President – Youth Wing Of BJP), Mickey Mehta (Celebrity Fitness Guru & Coach To Femina Miss India Pageant), Radhanath Swami (Spiritual Teacher), Suresh Narayanan (CMD – Nestle India).

The Young Indians (Yi), the annual flagship leadership Summit by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) is known to celebrate the achievements of entrepreneurs, inspire young entrepreneurs, and mull over the future roadmap. TakePride offers a platform to both sung and unsung heroes/champions who share an inspiring story and leave food for thought for the young leaders of CII-Yi eventually both in the interest of the organization as well as their personal- professional trajectory.

Ms. Jindal spoke at length on the subject close to her heart – accessibility. Around 600 Young Indians (Yi) from 40 Chapters across 27 states listened to her address that touched on her early years after car accident, her struggles in the men-dominated steel and gas industry, and her initiative Svayam and its numerous achievements in making India accessible.

Talking about her accident, she said: “I met with a car accident at the age of 11 as my driver was drunk; I became a wheelchair user for the rest of my life due to severe spinal injury. Initially, I could not cope with what had happened with me at that tender age. I was gloomy as I could not dance anymore, though my parents ensured I lived a normal life and got best education. They got ramps and lifts built at home and school and the college. I was born in an affluent family, but then I thought what about others who do not have resources. That is how accessibility became my passion as I wanted to see everyone with reduced mobility to live his/her life in safe, dignified and productive way.”

She told the highly attentive audience that accessibility benefits everyone and not just persons with disabilities. “Think about an elderly, a pregnant woman, and an injured. We have to accept the reality and be ready for it. Think about arthritis and accidents. Also, India’s 65 per cent population is below 35; think about 30 years from now. Will they not need accessible infrastructure and services? We have to be ready now before it hits us,” she said.Ms. Sminu Jindal's address to Young Indians at Bombay Stock Exchange

Ms. Jindal added: “People retire at 60, but thanks to the improved healthcare, we have longer years post retirement. Due to lack of accessible infrastructure, people tend to remain in the golden cages called homes. So, this is not about only 2 per cent population (persons with disabilities). It is a much larger issue. If older adults get accessible homes and public infrastructure, they will, of course, come out and shop, visit places which not only increases their own happiness quotient, but also boosts our GDP. This is how we can make them feel useful, else they may feel redundant. We are all social animals & can’t live in silos.”

She wondered why accessibility is treated as a sub topic under disability. She narrated the infamous Jet Airways incidence of December 2007 when she was asked to sign an indemnity bond. The signing would have absolved the airliner from all the responsibilities. She had refused to sign the bond and later the airliner had to issue a public apology to her.
Ms. Jindal also strongly raised the issue of lack of accessible toilet in the aircrafts. “These airlines can have first class cabin and luxurious showering room, but not an accessible toilet! Imagine holding your bladder for 6-10 hours in a long-haul flight,” she wondered.

Svayam’s Founder told the young audience how Svayam helped the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to make the first ever World Heritage Site of Qutub Minar accessible, followed by other WHS such as the Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri Group of Monuments. “The footprints increased phenomenally after these monuments were made accessible,” she said.

She also talked about Svayam’s contribution in 2011 Census’ campaign – “Stand Up and Be Counted”. It was the clarion call for persons with disabilities to have themselves enumerated in the final round of the 2011 Census. Svayam raised awareness, so that families did remember to answer question No. 9 – the question framed to gather information about number and categories of disabilities. During the campaign, Ms. Jindal had said that by hiding, person with disabilities deny themselves the right to be citizens and deny the government an opportunity to plan for their empowerment.

Ms. Jindal said, “There is no shame in having a disability. You may have a disability; still, you can be glamourous and pursue your passion as usual.”

She also said that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 has increased number of disabilities from 7 to 21. “This increases the importance of accessibility in built environment.”

Ms. Jindal also talked about Svayam’s international presence. In 2012, the Transport Research Board’s (TRB) Standing Committee on Accessible Transportation and Mobility (ABE60) agreed to establish the Permanent Secretariat of the Triennial TRANSED Series of conferences to be run by Svayam as its sole contribution to the promotion of mobility and transportation for the elderly and the disabled people.

She also talked about small little changes which can make big differences in the lives of people with reduced mobility, such as a proper ramp gradient, wider doors, ‘but most importantly an open heart!’

“If I can, you can, and together, we can,” Ms. Sminu Jindal exhorted the young audience to work for accessibility now for their own better tomorrow.

Young Indians (Yi) Tweeted:


Posted in Access at World Heritage Monuments, Access to Heritage Sites, Accessibility in public infrastructure, Accessible India Campaign, Accessible Railways, Accessible Transport, Airlines discriminate against disabled, Barrier Free, barrier free homes, barrier free public buildings, Census 2011, Delhi, Dignified Air Travel for Disabled, Entrepreneurs, Ms. Sminu Jindal, Persons with Disabilities, Qutb Minar, Sminu Jindal, TRANSED Conferences, Transportation Research Board, World Heritage Site Fatehpur Sikri, World Heritage Site Qutb Minar Delhi, World Heritage Site Red Fort, World Heritage Site Taj Mahal, Young Indians | Leave a comment

Svayam Founder featured on AXSChat

Dear Colleagues,

#AXSChat is an open online community of individuals on Twitter, dedicated to creating an inclusive world who believe that accessibility is for everyone. Every week, #AXSChat features a different guest who is contributing to making the world a more inclusive place through technology or innovating to enable wider participation in society for people with disabilities.

In this series, on 24 February 2018, our Founder-Chairperson Ms. Sminu Jindal was invited by AXSChat team for an online interview.  The live interview conducted by Mr. Neil Milliken (England), Mr. Antonio Santos (Ireland) and Ms. Debra Ruh (United States) focused on a number of issues around accessibility, sustainability, ICT, Smart Cities and Svayam’s contribution towards an inclusive world.

Ms. Jindal spoke at length on importance of raising awareness about accessibility and how it benefits everyone and not merely the persons with disabilities. She highlighted the grey areas in transport sector especially the aviation sector where long haul flights still did not consider accessible toilets as a necessity and why the stakeholders across the world continue to suffer in silence without making a hue and cry about it! She emphasized that on-board accessible toilet isn’t a luxury but a basic human right for persons with reduced mobility!

She also said that youth need to be sensitized as they can become change makers for a more sustainable and accessible world. Ms. Jindal emphasized on the importance of accessible toilet at every school in rural areas, so that the people still not exposed to the benefits of the accessibility are able to experience the benefits and be inspired to make their own toilets accessible. This would also enable the persons with reduced mobility such as older adults to contribute to national building.

Watch the full interview here and continue to support #Accessibility4All

Posted in Access at World Heritage Monuments, Access audit of community infrastructure, Access Audits, Access to Heritage Sites, Accessibility in public infrastructure, Accessible Cities, Accessible India Campaign, Accessible Transport, Marginalised pedestrians on Indian Roads, Ms. Sminu Jindal, Public Transport System, Sminu Jindal, Sustainable Transport, Svayam, Svayam India, Svayam Press Releases | Tagged , , | Leave a comment