Published On: Sun, Jul 24th, 2016

Motor Bikers, Citizens rally in support of Accessible India Campaign’s ‘Ride for Accessibility’ at India Gate

The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar and the Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan and the Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Shri Krishan Pal, at the flag-off ceremony of the “Right for Accessibility” a Rally of 500 women and young men motorcycle riders, in New Delhi on July 24, 2016.

New Delhi: The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India and some of the leading Motor-Bike Groups of the National Capital decided today to came together to spread awareness about ‘Universal Accessibility’ through ‘Ride for Accessibility’ for the Accessible India Campaign. A festival of ‘Roaring Wheels’ rolled out at the India Gate here today. The Rally ‘Ride for Accessibility’ was flagged off by Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar and Minister for Science & Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar also participated in the event..

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Prakash Javadekar said that chapters on Disability will soon be included in school curriculums to sensitise youngsters and the educational institutes will also be made accessible for persons with disabilities in a phased manner. Dr Harsh Vardhan congratulated the Department for this unique initiative by actively involving the youngsters to spread the message of Accessibility. Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot highlighted the objectives of Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan and said that it was the moral duty of every citizen to come forward and support the cause. Whereas, Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar added that the huge gathering at the event was proof that noble causes always strike a chord with youngsters who are eager and enthusiastic contributors to such Campaigns. Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, who is also the Brand Ambassador of Accessible India Campaign, saluted the indomitable spirit of persons with disabilities (PwDs).

Secretary DEPwD Dr Vinod Aggarwal, Joint Secretaries DEPwD Shri Awanish Kumar Awasthi and Shri Mukesh Jain interacted with the citizens who volunteered for ‘Ridefor Accessibility’ and came out in large numbers to support the event braving the sultry weather conditions which later echoed with slogans of ‘Sugamya Bharat , Sashakt Bharat’. #Ride4Accesibility the official hashtag for the event also trended on No.7 in All India trends and No.2 in Delhi trends on Twitter India.

The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) [DEPwD] is running the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) for creating universal accessibility in built environment, public transportation and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) eco-system. The Campaign was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 3rd December, 2015 on the occasion of International Day for Persons with Disabilities. Hon’ble Prime Minister had desired that the campaign be made a mass movement by involving citizens in various States and sensitizing the society towards disability and the need for accessibility. In continuation to various sensitization campaigns run by the DEPwD, The ‘Ride for Accessibility’ Motorcycle Rally was the latest chapter in the efforts to reach out to the citizens and included about 500 young men and women motorcycle riders. Before reaching India Gate, the bikers started from three different locations – South Ex Part -2, Vasant Kunj and Lodhi Gardens and passed through various areas of Delhi under the flag of ‘Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan’. The gathering then saw the dignitaries and the citizens alike pledging themselves to support the Campaign and its objectives, before the rally of the combined bikers group was flagged off by the dignitaries

Biker participants included riders from ‘Bikers for Good’, ‘Bajaj Avenger Club’, ‘Wer’re one Ride’, and ‘Save the Quest’. The rally also witnessed enthusiastic cyclists, joggers, school children, college communities, NGOs working for PwDs, coming together with the motor bike riders to redeem their pledge towards spreading awareness about Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan and achieving Universal Accessibilities. Various cultural programmes, street plays by popular Theatre groups, Rock band performance by ‘Rangreza’ were also organised at the venue to sensitize general public about Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan in general. All Central Police forces too extended their support to the Campaign by nominating their officials and providing their bands, which will add colour and music to the event. Multiple Moto GP Champion and one of the greatest race drivers of all time Valentino Rossi, once famously quoted: “Riding a bike is an art – a thing that you do because you feel something inside”. Biker Groups, a close-knit brotherhood of thrill seekers, are known worldwide to rally together to raise their voice for a cause. And the endeavor becomes all the more imperative and special if it is to raise awareness for a cause which although of ‘Universal’ importance escapes the public consciousness. With this objective the rally was organized for “Accessible India Campaign”

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