New Delhi (Metro Rail News): The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was conferred with this year’s ‘National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities’ (Divyangjan) in recognition of the creation of Barrier-Free environment for Divyagjan under the category of the government department or offices or PSUs or autonomous bodies. Dr. Mangu Singh, Managing Director/DMRC received the award on behalf of DMRC from M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India in a ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
Addressing on the occasion, the Vice President said that it was indeed a pleasure for him to be present on this occasion of the presentation of National Awards for the empowerment of persons with disabilities on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The name of this ‘Day’ should have been the International Day of Persons with Special Abilities. We have many of these remarkable men and women with special abilities amidst us who have excelled in a number of fields. Given the right kind of environment and opportunities, they can make immense contributions to the cause of nation-building. Today, some of these great achievers are being honoured for their achievements.
In order to provide barrier free services for Persons with Disabilities (Divyagjan), all Delhi Metro stations are provided with access facilities which include kerb cut at footpath, ramp with appropriate gradient and handrail at appropriate height, lift of adequate size to accommodate wheelchair users, audible signage at Lifts, information signs in Braille for lift control panel & toilet etc. DMRC follows all other prescribed accessible features guidelines at its Metro stations thereby ensuring accessible travel for persons with disabilities.
Beside DMRC, Vice President also conferred the National Awards on Individuals, Institutions, Organizations and State/District, etc. for their outstanding achievements and work done towards empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot presided over the function. Ministers of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar, Ramdas Athawale and Rattan Lal Kataria also graced the occasion.
On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3rd December), the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment confers National Awards on Individuals, Institutions, Organizations, State/District etc for their outstanding achievements and work done towards empowerment of Persons with Disabilities every year.
National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for the year 2019, were given under 14 (Fourteen) categories hereunder:-
- Best Employee/Self-Employed Person with Disabilities;
- Best Employers and Placement Officers and/or Agencies;
- Best Individual and Institution, working for the cause of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities;
- Role Model;
- Best Applied Research or Innovation or Product, aimed at improving the life of Persons with Disabilities;
- Outstanding Work in creation of barrier-free environment for Persons with Disabilities;
- Best District in providing rehabilitation services;
- Best State Channelizing Agency of the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC);
- Outstanding Creative Adult Person with Disabilities;
- Best Creative Child with Disabilities;
- Best Braille Press;
- Best Accessible Website;
- Best State (i) in promoting Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities; & (ii) for implementation of Accessible India Campaign.
- Best Sports-person with Disabilities.
Till 2017, the Award Scheme was governed under the National Awards Rules, 2013 which provided 7 categories of disabilities as per the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. However, with the coming into force of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 with effect from 19th April 2017, the number of specified disabilities increased from 7 to 21 under the new Law. Accordingly, all the 21 disabilities have been included under the National Award Guidelines which have been notified in the Extra-ordinary Gazette of India dated 2nd August, 2018.