Published on : Saturday, January 25, 2020
At an event in the Spanish capital of Madrid as part of the FITUR Trade Fair on Wednesday, Kerala Tourism Director P. Bala Kiran received the honor from the UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. The recognition was due to the implementation of the project in Thrissur, which became India’s only destination to win the credit instituted by WTO and ONCE Foundation that works for people with disabilities.
Kerala Tourism launched the barrier-free project in March 2019 for making 120 destinations differently-abled friendly. Thrissur is one of the first in Kerala to create necessary infrastructure in all major destinations. This project was conceptualized using funds under ‘Barrier-free Tourism’ and the ‘Green Carpet’ scheme.
Of the differently-abled friendly projects in 80 travel destinations across Kerala, eight are in Thrissur district. Kerala has become the first state to work as per the UNWTO guidelines on making tourist destinations easier to get to for the differently-abled. The facilities include ramps, accessible toilets, lactation rooms, Braille pamphlets, signage, touch-screen kiosks, audio and sign aids, wheelchairs and walking aids.
Tactile paths for the visually challenged were created for the first time in Kerala at Azhikkode and Snehatheeram. A wheelchair-accessible sunset viewpoint is the highlight of Vilangankunnu. There is ramp access for boating area in Poomala. As part of the project, the Thumboormoozhi hanging bridge and viewpoints will soon be made available for the differently-abled.