Are the post offices of Delhi friendly for the disabled?
In reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking information about the levels of accessibility at Delhi post offices, the postal department has given the reply which reveals startling facts. Dr. Satyendra Singh, Professor of Physiology at University College of Medical Sciences and doctor at GTB Hospital, who is himself disabled, had filed the application. He wanted to know whether the post offices are accessible to persons with disabilities.
- The south division of the India Post has informed that 65 of their 67 post offices are "barrier-free" except for two post offices at Chittaranjan Park and Kailash Colony which are on the first floor without any facility of lift. The south division has further informed that for easy access, the height of all the counters has been lowered and ramps have been constructed for movement of wheelchairs. The applicant has alleged that the Gulmohar park post office of southern division is located in the basement of the DDA market with no ramps or lift.
- West division of the India Post has informed that all the post offices are barrier-free.
- Out of the 81 post offices run by the North division of the India Post, 14 are above ground-floor or occupy multiple-floors with no lift. In spite of the North division taking up the matter with the postal civil division repeatedly for providing assistance as per the Disability Act in seven post offices, the needful has not been done.
- 46 post offices out of 60 post offices run by the Southwest division of the India Post do not have ramps for wheelchairs.
- 4 post offices of the central division of India Post are operating from first-floors without a lift or arrangement for the people with disability.
- The East division of India Post has informed that there is no facility of lift in any of the 69 post office under the division. It has further been informed that except for 7 post offices, all the post offices are accessible to all persons with disabilities. The 7 post offices are the one located at Krishna Nagar, Azad Nagar, Old Seemapuri, Mayur Vihar, Shahdaramandi, Gandhi Nagar Bazar and GTB Hospital. It has been alleged by the applicant that Post office in Jhilmil Industrial Area has stairs without even handrails.
Dr. Satyendra Singh has claimed that he has to travels 10 kilometers to Vasundhara, Ghaziabad, to send a speed post as the post offices closer to home all are inaccessible. It is time that the society recognises the special needs of those who have impairments and provides them easy access to the services.