Friday, August 08, 2008

Delhi Gurudwaras build ramps, wheel in faithful

Delhi ramps are with a difference. They will not see style statements being made on them but will see the differently abled devout go right up to the threshold of the Granth Sahib. Stairs at places of worship are a problem for the elderly and the differently abled. Keeping this in mind, the Delhi Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (DSGPC) has begun a drive to make Delhi Gurudwaras easily accessible to all.

While the government is still planning to make offices and public places differently abled-friendly, the DSGPC has completed renovations on a second Gurudwara in the city. After Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Nanak Piao in Azadpur has completed the construction of access ramps. Alongside the staircase, these green-carpeted ramps will help the wheelchair-bound and those who can’t climb steps.

With constant complaints coming in from devotees at Bangla Sahib, the authorities finally decided to take concrete steps. “A place of worship is for everyone and it is our responsibility to ensure that no one is denied the opportunity to visit the gurudwara. We did notice that a large number of the elderly and the differently-abled had to stop coming just because they couldn’t climb stairs. Besides constructing ramps, we have also made provisions for wheelchairs,” a Sewadar said.

Ever since the ramps were put in place, a number of devotees have been coming in wheelchairs. They are comfortably wheeled up by their family members.