Union Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot launches ‘Sugamya Bharat App’ to enhance accessibility for differently-abled

The Sugamya Bharat App will enable people with disabilities as well as the elderly in registering accessibility-related problems in modes of transport, in buildings, or in any infrastructure by uploading the pictures on it.

Created On: Mar 3, 2021 13:07 ISTModified On: Mar 3, 2021 13:07 IST
Sugamya Bharat App launched

The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot on March 2, 2021, virtually launched a crowdsourcing mobile application ‘Sugamya Bharat App’ and a handbook ‘Access-The Photo Digest’ to enhance accessibility.

The handbook and Sugamya Bharat app have been developed by the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities department under the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry.

The Union Minister while launching the Sugamya Bharat App mentioned that a crowdsourcing mobile application is for sensitizing and enhancing accessibility in the 3 pillars of the Accessible India Campaign i.e. ICT ecosystem, transportation sector, and built environment. It will also be able to address the problems regarding Coronavirus faced by the differently-abled.

Objective:

The Sugamya Bharat App will enable people with disabilities as well as the elderly in registering accessibility-related problems in modes of transport, in buildings, or in any infrastructure by uploading the pictures on it.

The users will also be able to receive information on accessibility-related issues through the app.

The app will serve the two-fold purpose of generating awareness and sensitization about the need for accessibility. It will also bring in a major change in accessible features that are provided in the transportation sector, built-up spaces, and other services.

Sugamya Bharat App: Key Details

It has been provided with several user-friendly features such as videos in Hindi and English, easy-drop down menus, uploading complaints with photographs, and sign language interpretation to demonstrate the process of registration.

The app is accessible for ease of use for persons with disabilities along with features such as color contrasting options, font size adjustment, having an integrated screen reader in English and Hindi, and text to speech.

The app is available in 10 regional languages, namely, Marathi, English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Odiya, Gujarati, Telugu, Malayalam, and Punjabi.

It has a provision of easy photo uploads with a geotagging option of the premise where there is a requirement of accessibility intervention.

The app also has a provision of providing notification to the users at the time of registration, at the time of resolution, regular status updates, and at the closure of complaints.

The App will become available for Android users on the play store. The iOS version will be available by March 15, 2021.

Handbook ‘Access-The Photo Digest’: Key Details

The handbook is a collection of photographs from across different UTs and states in India.

It is envisaged as a tool and guide for sensitizing stakeholders about ten basic features of accessibility and good-bad practices in easy-to-understand pictorial form.

The electronic version of the photo digest will be available on the app as well as on the website of the department.

Enhancing accessibility through Sugamya Bharat App:

The app provides five main features, 4 of which are related to enhancing accessibility while the 5th is a special feature that is only for people with disabilities for the issues related to COVID.

The features related to accessibility include the registration of complaints of inaccessibility across the 3 broad pillars of Sugamya Bharat Abhiyaan, best practices being shared by people as jan bhagidari, and positive feedback of examples; departmental updates; and circulars and guidelines related to accessibility.

The implementation of accessibility-related activities will help towards the vision of universally accessible and inclusive India under the ‘Accessible India Campaign’.

Accessible India Campaign: Background

Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan or Accessible India Campaign is a program to serve the differently-abled community of India.

It was launched by PM Modi on December 3, 2015, the International Day of People with Disabilities. The Accessible India Campaign comes with an index of measuring the design of human resource policies and disabled-friendly buildings.

The scheme comes under the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, for the protection of rights and equal opportunities which provides non-discrimination in transport to Persons with Disabilities.

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