Srinagar: The Airports Authority of India, Srinagar, CISF and other stakeholders have got together in order to create facilities for safe and hassle free travel for travellers facing benchmark disabilities.
In a recent meeting held at Srinagar Airport, a local committee consisting of members from non-governmental organisations , dealing with issues related to persons with disabilities, was formed to ensure that Srinagar Airport is made disabled-friendly.
The meeting was organised by CISF, which is looking after the security of Srinagar airport. The meeting was chaired by Airport Director, Srinagar and in the presence of Commandant/CASO, CISF Srinagar Airport and Airport managers of various airlines such as Indigo Air Asia, Air India, Spice jet, Go first and Air Vistaara besides other officials of airport authority and CISF.
As per those present in the meeting, the objective of conducting the meeting was to provide facilities to travellers facing disabilities so that no traveller with disability face any inconveniences.
Among other issues discussed in the meeting includes, web accessibility in airline websites as per W3C guidelines so that persons with disabilities can have easy access to ticketing and feedback
“The airports should provide space for putting information on the websites while ticketing so that airline staff can arrange the facilities at par with their needs” reads minutes of the meeting.
The establishment of a common service point at the entry point of the airport so that passengers with disabilities are received at entry point and supported till boarding aircraft, was also discussed in the meeting.
“Creation of a helpline so that persons with disabilities can call for all sorts of support. Establishment of a rest room for women and children with disabilities. Easy scanning of wheelchairs and artificial limbs at entry point so that person's using such aids appliances do not face inconvenience again and again at security checkpoints up to aircraft was also discussed” read the minutes.
It said the assignment of sign language interpreters for the facilitation of passengers facing hearing and speech disabilities was also taken up.
CommandantCISF AS Dhaliwal said that CISF is committed to minimise barriers for passengers with disabilities. He said that within a quarter of the current year, all basic facilities will be provided at Srinagar airport including scanning of aids and appliances at single point, availability of supporting staff at entry point, creation of helpline for passengers with disability.
He said that regarding the awareness of the whole CISF team deputed at Srinagar airport VMS will organise wheelchair and assistive device technology training, exceptional minds will provide awareness about children facing autism spectrum disability issues and multiple disabilities and association of deaf will provide sign language training in future course of time. Swarniyum scheme introduced at Hyderabad airport will be replicated in Srinagar airport soon, Daliwal added.
Airport Director Srinagar, Kuldeep Singh said that the meeting “has opened the eyes of airport staff and managers with regard to the needs of the disabled persons.”
He appreciated NGO representatives and persons with disabilities who highlighted the various sensitive issues regarding the safe travel of persons with disabilities through air transport. “The feedback from the disability sector gives us opportunity towards improvement,” said Singh.
All the airline managers said that a common service point will be created soon and local level staff training cum awareness programme will be organised at Srinagar Airport soon in presence of disability sector representatives.
Javed Ahmad Tak who was assigned nodal person for disability sector presented vote of thanks. He will act as a linkage person between the disability sector, representatives of NGOs and airport officials including CISF.
Commandant CISF including HOD Operations AAI Srinagar Ashok Matai, Inspector Manish kumar and Sub-Inspector Pradeep Kumar showcased the help desk table created by CISF and parking slot reserved for persons with disabilities at the airport.
The representatives from NGOs who joined the meeting include Javed Ahmad Tak, Honorary Chairman Humanity Welfare organisation Helpline Bijbehara, Abdul Rashid Bhat state president J&K Handicapped Association Srinagar, Kulsum Parvaiz Founder Exceptional minds centre for children with intellectual Disabilities Bemina Srinagar, Javed Ahmad programme manager Hope Disability centre Ganderbal, Gulshan Drabu General secretary J&K State Association of Deaf , Chintanjeet Kour Rehabilitation therapist Chotay Taaray foundation Srinagar, Lateef Ahmad pandit Sultan ul Aarifeen BMSS gagribal Srinagar, Bashir Ahmad Lone Administrator Voluntary Medicare Society Srinagar., Yasir Ahmad Khan representing Blind sector Kashmir, Amreen Shafaqat rehabilitation centre Bemina.