India emerging as a prominent manufacturing hub for assistive devices: Centre

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) India is emerging as a prominent manufacturing hub for developing assistive devices, said Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), under the Ministry of Social Justice, and Empowerment on Tuesday.

Speaking at the ASSOCHAM’s 6th Conference on Empowering Persons with Disabilities, he talked about three issues affecting such people — accessible infrastructure, employment opportunities, and education for people with disabilities.

“Do not help Persons with Disabilities (PwD) with charity purposes but include them with designated job profiles and not quotas,” Rajesh said.

Citing examples of “devices such as braille displays, speech-to-text software, and adapted learning tools to facilitate learning,” he called on to enhance their education.

“Provide necessary workplace accommodations such as ergonomic chairs, specialised keyboards, and software solutions to support productivity,” he added.

He noted that the conference aligns with the vision of ‘Viksit Bharat’, aspiring to “position India as a global assistive technology hub”.

“Driven by competitive manufacturing costs, supporting government policies like Make in India, India can position itself as a key player in the global market,” the DEPwD Secretary said.

At the event, Anil Rajput, Chairperson of the ASSOCHAM National CSR Council, “appealed to the automobile manufacturers in India to bring in the latest technologies in vehicles for disabled people that are being used in different parts of the world to make a transformational impact in the lives of persons with disabilities in India”.

“Mobility is a critical factor in the lives of PwDs,” he added.

He also shared data from the World Health Organization(WHO) which showed that 16 per cent of the world’s population, which is over a billion people, have some form of disability, and 80 per cent of these live in developing countries.



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