Helping Hand

March 06 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is trying to make it easier for disabled people and the aged to use public transport like trains and buildings, a government official said Tuesday. The conference is jointly organised by the social services ministry, Practical Action-South Asia Programme, Disaster Relief Monitoring Unit of the Human Rights Commission Sri Lanka and Development with Disabled network.

We have already spoken to several ministries regarding this issue, and the cabinet has decided to name this year as the year of accessibility, Viji Jegarajasingham, secretary to Sri Lanka™s social services and social welfare ministry, said.

The ministry has already begun talks with the transport ministry to adapt trains to accommodate wheelchairs and has also been lobbying for buildings to have more disabled friendly features.

The ministry of highways and railways was very receptive and we plan to implement these options for the disabled as soon as possible, Jegarajasingham said.

Large numbers of disabled people in Sri Lanka live in poverty due to limited access to education, training and other services tailored for the disabled.

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