Chandigarh is the most inhospitable city in the country, for the persons with disabilities (PWDs).
“As many as 85.7 percent people with disabilities, who used public transport in the city faced difficulties. The percentage is highest in the country,” revealed the National Sample Survey (NSS) report on “Persons with Disabilities in India” using a reference period of 365 days.
The report has exposed how unfriendly the city is for the PWDs as 83.6 percent of them who assessed public buildings faced difficulties.
Among the various obstacles to life in the city for the PWDs is assessing public buildings and use transport facilities.
Elaborating, the NSS report revealed that among PWD men, who used public transport during last 365 days, 87.6 percent faced difficulties and 83.4 faced difficulties in assessing public buildings. Among PWD women population in Chandigarh, 83.9 percent faced difficulties in assessing public buildings and 83.7 percent faced problems while using public transport.
According to the report, both urban and rural areas in the city remain unfriendly when it comes to providing a comfortable life to the PWDs. In urban Chandigarh, 86.5 percent PWDs faced difficulties while using public transport while in rural parts, a huge 98.1 percent PWDs found it hard to assess public buildings. Both the numbers are highest, making the city most inhospitable in the country.
The report further revealed that a huge 82.6 percent PWDs in the city did not receive any help from government or other organizations. Also, only 26.9 percent PWDs (37.2 percent male and 17 percent female) have certificate of disability in Chandigarh.
Among types of disabilities, 0.7 percent PWDs have locomotor disability, 0.1 have visual disability, 0.2 percent have hearing disability, 0.2 percent speech and language disability, 0.1 percent mental retardation/intellectual disability and 1.1 other disabilities. The literacy level is 59.8 percent in persons of age seven years and above with disability in Chandigarh.
There are 37.4 percent persons of age 15 or above with disability having highest level of competed secondary education and above, the report added.
Around 2.2 percent Indians have some disability, the NSSO survey stated while pointing out that a small number of 28.8 disabled reported during the survey that they had a certificate of disability.
Notably, there were 14796 PWDs in Chandigarh, as per census 2011. In the past audits, it has been pointed out several times that the city lacks dedicated parking areas, toilets, wheelchairs, ramps etc for PWDs at major locations here.