India will soon get its first disabled-friendly beach. It is in Gujarat’s Valsad district.
Preparations are on in full swing to make the Tithal beach disabled-friendly.
A 1 km beach stretch will have disabled-friendly food courts, washrooms and entertainment area, in the first phase of the project. The facilities will be designed in such a way that disabled people can access them without any assistance. The disabled will also be able to access the water directly. This stretch is expected to be opened by June.
In the second phase, a 2-km-long stretch will be made disabled-friendly.
Tenders were recently floated by the government to develop facilities like ramps, railings, low-height food counters, detailed sign boards, etc.
The idea for the project stemmed from the Union Government’s Accessible India campaign.
Valsad collector Vikrant Pandey told Times of India, “It will be a first-of-its-kind beach in India. The disabled visiting the beach will not feel discriminated against in any way.”
Thousands of tourists visit Tithal beach every week. However, there are no facilities there for the disabled at present.
A similar initiative was launched in Goa last year. Though the campaign was a temporary one, suggestions were invited from people on making beaches more accessible to the disabled.
There are many accessible beaches for disabled people in the world. All of them have ramps leading up to the water, provision for wheelchairs, railings, and so on.