The Madurai Bench of the High Court of Madras recently directed the government of Tamil Nadu to consult with professional associations, including those with disabilities, to devise a program to make tourist destinations in the state accessible to persons with disabilities. .

The benches of Justices R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad said accessible tourism is essential for persons with disabilities to participate equally in recreational and cultural life as others.

Bench dictated that tourist sites should be disabled-friendly in accordance with accessibility standards developed under Section 40 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 and other applicable guidelines.

The court also asked the government to create and publish a disability-friendly and accessible travel guide for tourist destinations.

The order was passed in a public interest lawsuit (PIL) filed by a disabled person who claimed that when he visited Coutallam Falls in Tirunelveli with his friends, he was unable to participate in the fun because the falls had no facilities to make them. Handicapped accessible.

A man who was disabled in his lower extremities from improper intramuscular injections to treat polio as a child said state officials had closed all facilities, including access to tourist attractions and recreational areas, to sick people. It claimed that the law requires it to be made available to hindrance.

His attorney referred to Article 29 of the RPwD Act 2016, stating that governments and local governments should take steps to promote and protect the right of all persons with disabilities to live a civilized life, but that statutory argued that there are loopholes in the implementation of

However, government petitioners say the government treats people with disabilities on an equal footing with other people and will take the necessary steps to make tourism attractions in the state easily accessible to people with disabilities. guaranteed to

The court took note of the submissions and, according to the court’s report, world About 1 billion people worldwide, more than 2.1% of the population in India, have some form of disability, according to health organizations, and that number is likely to rise in the coming decades.

“Therefore, governments and local authorities must take effective measures to protect the rights of persons with disabilities by ensuring accessibility at all levels,” the court said.

Please refer to the Draft Accessible Tourism Guidelines for India issued by the Ministry of Tourism of India on 15th June 2022 and the Notice on the ‘Accessible Kerala Tourism’ program initiated by the Government of Kerala. A court has instructed the Tamil Nadu government to devise a program to transform tourism destinations.

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