To Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild a new world to empower and enable every soul and to be able to contribute to the development of the nation. I strongly believe that an accessible and inclusive environment can provide that impetus.
Since my childhood I had two passions. One-to break the glass ceiling in the steel, oil and gas industry – which I achieved long time back and the passion I strive for today is accessibility.
Why must we rebuild? Does the world as we know today not address our varied needs?
- Needs of being independent,
- Needs of making our own choices,
- Needs of reiterating our self worth,
- Needs of being a contributing member of the society,
- Needs of an aging body!
- Needs of an enabling and safe environment to participate in society on equal basis!
‘If together WE can’ then how come so many of us are not a part of that ‘WE’.
The only way We can, is by ensuring that the built infrastructure is accessible and inclusive!
Believe me it is an inaccessible and hostile world out there! Stepping out of the house, Accessing education, Seeking employment, Leisure! Travelling every time is a challenge for most of us for our transportation systems is not fully accessible. The cities today are growing vertically. Elders and those experiencing disabilities face problems climbing stairs in the absence of elevators.
I urge the architects, engineers, policy makers, rehabilitation experts, city planners, in fact each one of you to consider a person with disability or an elderly while planning & designing the public infrastructure. Gandhi ji’s talisman has so much to offer – if you include the weakest & the most vulnerable in your planning/ design, it would be truly inclusive and universally accessible for all!
Lets develop an accessible pedestrian & cycling infrastructure to encourage people to walk and cycle short distances. This would not only have health benefits and help in reducing the carbon footprints, but also ease pressure on roads & motorized transport particularly reduce cars on the roads. If New York can, so can New Delhi!
I believe in the human spirit of adaptability so much so, that we take discrimination by design in the built infrastructure in a stride…..Should this spirit of adaptability lead us into thinking that something is lacking in us or lead towards a change in man made built environment? You remember the idea of finding faults in the disabling environment rather than in the person – the socialist approach to disability?
Let’s work together towards an enabling environment that will empower each one of us.
TOGETHER WE CAN!!