To mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the iconic Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, the largest Sikh Shrine in the national capital will be made differently-abled and senior citizen-friendly by ensuring barrier-free access for cognitively, physically, socially disabled and elderly devotees.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has initiated a movement to maintain, provide, renovate, and repair existing infrastructure to ensure they have easy access to the holy complex.
"To ease their access, we have set up two special chairlifts from different sides that slide on a railing parallel to the stairs just on the press of a button as part of the special arrangements for physically challenged pilgrims," said DSGMC President Manjinder Singh Sirsa.
The Sikh shrine has developed inclusive infrastructure to meet the requirements of the differently-abled, elderly persons by making facilities of wheelchairs, battery-driven carts, wheelchair friendly washrooms, tactile floors or pathways and railings facilities to ensure easy accessibility.
The Gurdwara has three entry gates and four electric vehicles lined up to help the old and differently-abled reach the steps near the shrine and the stairs have a motor fitted sit-in lift on the side.
The Gurdwara has presently 16 wheelchairs to meet the needs of the differently-abled devotees. The management is likely to twenty more wheelchairs by the year-end.
The permanent ramps have also been set up to make it easier for the wheelchairs to move. The DSGMC is constructing another lift from the Gurdwara front side to Main Darbar Hall which is likely to be made operational by the end of November this year.
At present, around 35,000 devotees - 2,000 domestic and foreign tourists visit the holy shrine on regular days and the DSGMC has decided to create an environment that will attract even more worshippers especially from cognitively, physically or socially disabled persons.
Sirsa said that infrastructural facilities for disabled and elderly devotees will also be strengthened at all Delhi's Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, Gurdwara Sis Ganj and Gurdwara Nanak Piou.
"People from all faiths come to Gurdwara Bangla Sahib to seek blessings. We feel honoured to provide facilities to assist differently-abled persons, elderly people wanting to enter the gurdwara," added Sirsa. (ANI)