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Assam state government on Friday requested the organisations that are working for people with disabilities to formulate a blueprint on necessary involvements essential for making Guwahati a smart city that is differently-abled people friendly.

A speaker at the seminar in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos
A speaker at the seminar in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos

Ravi Capoor, additional chief secretary, made this request in a roundtable seminar on inclusive smart cities as well as accessibility. The seminar was organised by National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) and Shishu Sarothi, in association with the Guwahati development department.

“Please make a blueprint on how a smart city must look like from a differently-abled person’s point of view. If it is done now it will be supportive to formulate the Guwahati smart city plan. Try to formulate it within three months,” Capoor said.

Guwahati, as stated by Centre, will be among 1st 20 cities made in to smart city in the first phase.

The seminar conferred the actions to be taken to make a smart city that is differently-abled friendly. It emphasised on empowering differently-abled persons access to the digital world.

“Persons with disabilities are often neglected and left out from the various plans, schemes and campaigns of the government. As an instance in the smart city mission has hardly any mention of accessibility for disable persons. More prominently, with technology being the cornerstone of the smart cities ingenuity the already existing digital divide will only grow further if it is not made an inclusive for persons with disabilities,” said Arman Ali, executive director of Shishu Sarothi.

Javed Abidi, director of NCPEDP, wanted the government to ask corporate sectors along with other profit making organisations to trail government rules strictly. He said there are legal and political directives in favour of differently-abled persons in the country.

The participants of the seminar also included James Thurston, vice-president of G3ict, Rama Chari, director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity Centre, a non-profit organisation in Georgia, US, a consulting organisation, and Sweta Patnaik from Unicef Assam.

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