New Delhi: The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry has asked television channels to allocate more time to programmes for differently-abled people. In a directive issued to broadcasting bodies such as the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (lBF), News Broadcasters Association (NBA), Association of Regional Television Broadcasters of India (ARTBI) and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the ministry has requested them to include the facility of providing captions in their programmes for the hearing-impaired and audio support for programmes for the visually-impaired.
This move comes as part of the ministry’s effort to generate awareness about the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan). Accessible India campaign was launched by I&B minister Arun Jaitley in December 2015 to serve the differently-abled community in the country.
“The central government launched this campaign with an aim to increase participation of people with disability in day-to-day practices. Sugamya Bharat is the right step towards an inclusive society. There have been a number of disabled people who have done exceptionally well in various fields, they are an inspiration for all of us,” Jaitley had said during the launch of the campaign.
Earlier this month, the ministry met the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability to discuss the advocacy and dissemination requirements for the Accessible India campaign.
“Certain areas were highlighted in the meeting where support of ministry of l&B was solicited such as increased frequency of programmes for disabled persons in TV channels, showcasing films on achievements of disabled persons through public and private TV channels, and working towards captioning for hearing impaired and audio facility for sight impaired in programmes on TV channels in a time frame,” the directive said.
The ministry has also directed television channels and broadcasters’ associations to submit details of the steps taken to ensure the inclusiveness of all citizens in sharing information and entertainment.