After Qutub Minar, the other two World Heritage Monuments in the national capital — Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb — would be made barrier-free on par with international standards.
Sujit Banerjee, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, said plans are afoot to make all tourist places, especially heritage sites, accessible for all ahead of the Commonwealth Games. “NGO Svayam has worked at Qutub Minar to make it accessible for all and I have positive feedback on it. So we have invited the NGO to be part of the Ministry’s core team,” he said.
When asked the need for re-doing work at places like Humayun’s Tomb, which are already disabled friendly, Banerjee said, “We are conducting an audit for the same. There is scope for improvement.” The Ministry will provide the funds needed for the job, he added.
Svayam Director Abha Negi said, “We have already conducted and submitted an accessibility audit for the Red Fort and would be carrying out a similar exercise for Humayun’s Tomb in the coming weeks.”
“Making a heritage site disabled-friendly is not enough. It needs to be accessible for all, including the aged, pregnant women and even obese people,” she said.
“Beginning with the heritage monuments frequented most by tourists, we would be working towards making all heritage monuments in the city accessible for everyone,” she added.
Sujit Banerjee had recently announced at a conference that his Ministry has been pro-active in taking initiatives for inclusive tourism and to ensure that not just heritage sites but all public places frequented by tourists, like airports and hotels, would be made accessible for all.
The NGO is also working closely with the Ministry for similar efforts at the Taj Mahal and the Jalianwala Bagh.