Svayam’s association with Min. of Tourism has finally brought some positive indications. After institution of Award for “Most accessible Tourist Destination/Hotel”, now Ministry of Tourism has revised its guidelines for hotel classification making it mandatory for all classes of hotels to facilitate access and stay for visitor with disabilties.
Svayam had conducted first workshop on Accessible Tourism for Min. of Tourism, Govt. of India on 23 October 2008 which was well received by the then Secretary Tourism-Mr. S. Banerjee, IAS and the participants included Architects, Engineers and Officers from MOT, Tourism departments of various states, State tourism development Corporations and ASI etc.
Later, Svayam hosted a Conference on Accessible Transportation and Tourism in Delhi during March 2009 wherein the Secretary Tourism had inaugurated the Conference and declared that MOT will not release grants to any project unless accessibility for the disabled visitors was included as an essential feature in the project.
Besides this, Svayam has been involved in a regular exercise of training Owners of Budget Hotels/Guest Houses in and around Delhi on Facilities for guests with disabilities and those with reduced mobility in the hotels. These workshops are being conducted at IHM, Pusa on an ongoing basis to cover all hotels around Delhi in a phased manner through a joint initiative of MOT, Govt. of India and Licencing Branch of Delhi Police.
Svayam is also a member on Core Committee on Accessible Tourism constituted by Min. of Tourism, Govt. of India It is also a member on TAC (Technical Advisory Committee) to conduct a Research Survey in India on Status of Inclusive Tourism.
Svayam provided detailed guidelines to MOT during the first workshop held in October 2008 which have now been included in to the Ministry guidelines for hotel classification. A manual on How to make a hotel/Restaurant Accessible to all that intends to help Hospitality Industry by providing detailed guidelines to make their services and properties accessible to all, was uploaded on Svayam website and is available to all for free downloading.
This has been only possible due to pro-active approach followed by Min. of Tourism, Govt. of India and committed support of Svayam. We congratulate Min. of Tourism on this initiative.
Here is the news article on the subject:
Hotels to be disabled-friendly Nandini R Iyer,
Hindustan Times , September 2010,
A disabled person will be able to check into any hotel classified between One and Five Stars with relative ease. The Tourism Ministry has revised guidelines for hotel classification making it mandatory for all classes of hotels to facilitate basic access and stay for disabled people. In addition, some more facilities have been made mandatory for Three, Four and Five Star hotels.
All hotels higher than ground plus two floors will have to have a 24×7 lift and where local laws do not permit this, establishments will have to provide “easy access for differently abled guests,” say the new guidelines.
Each hotel classified between One and Five Stars will have to have at least one room for disabled guests. These rooms will have to have a minimum door width of one metre for wheelchair access, low height furniture, low peephole, cupboards with sliding doors and low clothes hanging rods. The guidelines require that such rooms have audible and visible (blinking lights) alarm systems.
Compliance is mandatory by September 1 next year. A most basic facility, which India’s disabled community has been fighting for — ramps with anti-slip floors — are also mandatory now. The ministry has insisted that in Five Star and Five Star Deluxe hospitals there must be free access to all public areas and at least one restaurant.
These two categories of hotels will also have to provide at least one telephone for public calls at a height of two feet. All hotels have been told to provide wheelchair-friendly bathrooms with “suitable fixtures like low wash basin, low height toilet and grab bars”.
Public restrooms will have to have low height urinals in all hotels. All hotels will need to have wheelchairs available to disabled guests free of charge and provide “exclusively earmarked parking facilities nearest to the entrance for disabled guests”.