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Govt to set up 5 dedicated centres for divyang athletes

Press Trust of India  |  Vadodara 

The central government will set up five national-level sophisticated sports centres for differently-abled sportspersons, with an objective of catering to their special needs like training and diet, Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot announced today.

"The government has started work on establishing five centres and land has been acquired for three such centres. They will come up in Madhya Bharat, Paschim Bharat, Uttar Bharat, South and East (central, west, north, south and east India)," the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister told reporters here.

Gehlot was in town for overseeing the arrangements for distribution of tri-cycles, wheel chairs, hearing aids and other such implements to more than 14,000 divyang people at a function to be held on October 22 in presence of Prime Minister Modi.

"Three out of five state-of-the-art centres will be set up in Punjab, and Andhra Pradesh, with an aim to provide special training and support to sportsmen who are differently-abled.

"Setting up of two more such centres depends upon two concerned state governments (considering availability of land). (The aim is) to cater to the special needs of training, diet etc of differently-abled sportsmen. We have already been provided land by governments of Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh," Gehlot said.

He said the facilities will be set up at Zirakpur in Punjab, Ujjain in MP and Visakhapatnam in

"We want to adopt the best practices and parameters in force at recently concluded Rio 2016 Paralympics. A detailed project report is being prepared and we will initiate construction of buildings soon," the minister said.

He said as part of 'Accessible India" campaign, 50 cities (A and B) have been shortlisted, where 100 "most important government buildings" will be converted into fully accessible buildings in future.

"Besides, an accessibility audit of all international

airports will be conducted and they will be made accessible for disabled people. This covers built-in environment including steps, ramps, corridors, entry ways, emergency exists, parking as well as indoor and outdoor facilities, including lighting, signage, alarm systems and toilets," Gehlot said.

He said the government's aim was to make domestic airports "fully accessible" for divyang people by March 2018.

"In the second phase, the 'Accessible India' campaign envisages making all international airports and railway stations of A1, A and B categories fully accessible to the disabled," the minister added.

First Published: Sat, October 15 2016. 21:22 IST