Durga Pujas in Kolkata insensitive to disabled: Survey

Kolkata, Oct 26 (IANS) Despite the provision of wheelchairs, a majority of Durga puja organisers in Kolkata lack “sensitivity” and understanding of rights for disabled, a survey said on Monday.

The findings of the ‘Paralympic Pujo Parikrama’ survey of 25 marquees conducted by the Civilian Welfare Foundation (CWF) showed that inclusivity in terms of ease of access for the disabled has been “completely ignored”.

“Pandals created stairs instead of ramps or made separate ways beside the normal access point for general public, thus rejecting major attractions of the pandals for disables,” showed the survey.

“The general public way should be made disabled-friendly rather than any separate way for them – a perspective completely overlooked by puja committees.”

“Inclusivity has been completely ignored,” said the survey, adding that inclusivity and access has not improved since last year.

It said many of the award-winning and popular Pujas fail when it comes to providing access to the disabled.

“Till the jury of all those awards includes disability access as an important parameter, things are not going to change,” the report said.

Organisers also preferred that disabled citizens visit the marquees during the daytime.

“Daytime visit is more preferable for the organisers as it is convenient for them but if some of the big budget pujas can accommodate disabled individuals with proper sensibility during the night time then the rest of the Puja organisers are also expected to do so,” the report said.

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