Assam Congress MP Abdul Khaleque on Saturday said he would speak Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment to guarantee hassle-free access to toilets to people with disabilities.

Topcem Cement, on January 28, as part of its CSR programme, gifted a toilet block at Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary School in Guwahati. Unfortunately, the toilet block does not have access to students and teachers with disabilities.

Khaleque, who is a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice & Empowerment, said it is ‘unfortunate’ that the Topcem Cement management did not respect the rights of people with disabilities while constructing the toilet block.

“I request the management of Topcem Cement to respect the rights of people with disabilities, and request them to immediately guarantee hassle-free toilet facilities in Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary School,” Khaleque said.

The Congress leader said it is mandatory to have accessible toilets for people with disabilities, and is essential in educational institutions.

“If required, I will write to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, or even speak to the union minister,” Khaleque said.

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It is surprising as to how the Topcem Cement management ignored that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi is always vocal about inclusive access to sanitation facilities for persons with disabilities.

The government talks about inclusive access to sanitation facilities for persons with disabilities as an integral aspect of their empowerment to lead a life with dignity.

Arman Ali, executive director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People, said, “Be it schools, library, hospitals, or any public building, differently-abled individuals have the right to access toilet facilities.”

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“The Rights of Persons with Disability Act ensures all facilities be equally accessible to the differently-abled individuals,” Ali said.

Topcem Cement management was also blamed for converting a classroom (Room No 12) into a toilet block in the middle of academic block in Arya Vidyapeeth Higher Secondary School in Guwahati.

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