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Svayam Accessibility Awards

Svayam Accessibility Awards

As per WHO's estimates, 10% of the world's population lives with disabilities. Seniors account for another 10-15 % who experience disability due to the aging phenomenon. In almost every country, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group. Today, almost 1 in 10 people in the world are over 60 years old. By 2050 the figure will be higher than 1 in 5, increasing from 673 million in 2005 to 2 billion.

In Indian context, the recent census figures (2011) indicate 2.21% population with disabilities (which looks a gross undercount given the figures of other developed and developing countries). Children from 0 to 14 years account for over 30.8% while elderly account for 8.6%. This totals to 41.61% of the total population of the country who would feel enabled from an accessible environment.

Unequal access to facilities is another name of discrimination and is deeply connected with one's self image, dignity of life and right to life and right to equality enshrined in the Constitution of India.

Accessibility means and includes access to physical environment, information, technology, transport, services, aids and appliances, etc.

World today faces a major challenge in making physical environment & services including ICT accessible to wide range of people with disabilities. It often negates the needs of those who live with deafness and speech impairments and those with vision disabilities.

Access, therefore, is an issue that cuts across disabilities & sectors and forms the very basis of empowerment of persons with disabilities and the elderly. Thus, any accessibility provision must be tested on the Universal design principals to make it "universal" in true sense.

'Universal Design', means a design that is usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or situation. Universal design accommodates people with disabilities, seniors, women, children and all others who are non-average in a way that is not stigmatizing and benefits everyone. The seven Principles of Universal Design include:

  • Equitable Use
  • Flexibility in Use
  • Simple and Intuitive Use
  • Perceptible Information
  • Tolerance for Error
  • Low Physical Effort
  • Size and Space for Approach and Use

Universal Design benefits every human being to some degree at some point of time and it definitely helps the seniors and those living with disabilities every time. In India, much has been said about UD but not so much practiced about it. Even the architects, designers, policy makers, product makers have little knowledge about implementing it in their products/ services.

Svayam Accessibility Awards

Svayam Accessibility Awards are an effort to promote and recognize the concept of Accessibility & Universal Design in all spheres of our lives to make way for livable communities - in both rural and urban scapes. The awards are conferred on the organizations & individuals who have shown consistent commitment towards providing accessible infrastructure for all. These awards play a pivotal role in providing the right impetus to the development of inclusive infrastructure and related policies & practices ensuring that accessibility initiatives are sustainable and meaningful.

The awards are an attempt to recognise the efforts of the potential organisations and to encourage them to reach their highest potential to ensure universal accessibility for all. This is also to encourage other organisations to be in pursuit of achieving universal access in their infrastructure, products and services that leads to making a community liveable for all.

When Instituted

Svayam Accessibility Awards were instituted on 25 October 2010 by Svayam- Global Centre for Inclusive Environments - an initiative of S.J. Charitable Trust based at New Delhi, India and supported by Jindal SAW Ltd.

Areas covered

At present, the Awards cover the following areas/ categories:

  • Most Accessible Public Transport (both managed by Govt., Private or PPP model)
  • Most Accessible Municipality/ Panchayat
  • Most Accessible Hotels/Guest Houses (Hospitality)
  • Most Accessible Tourist Attraction / Heritage Sites (both- managed by Govt. or private or PPP model)
  • Best Practice Awards - In addition to any of the above Category, the awards are open for initiatives taken in promoting inclusive education, inclusive employment, inclusive tourism, inclusive transportation (including para transit systems), inclusive housing, inclusive designing /invention of  products/ services etc.  
Award includes

A trophy along with citation in favor of the selected/ nominated organization to be conferred upon the winning organization during the Award Ceremony to held on the sidelines of the TRANSED Conferences.

The selection process

The selection will take place in two phases, with a pre-selection/screening in the first phase followed by a final selection.

In the final section, a jury composed of National & International Accessibility experts will select out of the pre-selected/screened nominees. Four selected finalists in different areas will then attend the award ceremony.

Svayam Accessibility Awards 2018
Applications in prescribed format are invited for the forthcoming Svayam Accessibility Awards 2018 from individuals & organizations (both Government/ Private sector including municipalities, Public Sector Undertakings, Public Private Partnership models, Non Government Organisations, proprietorship firms, etc. ) who have taken initiatives to make built environment, infrastructure and services (including information and communication technology, consumer products, assistive technology etc.) accessible to all irrespective of their abilities, gender, size, language, culture, and especially the persons with disabilities, children and seniors.

The award ceremony will coincide with the 15th International conference on Mobility and Transport for the Elderly and the Disabled Persons, at Taipai, Taiwan in September 2018.

How to apply
Applications in the prescribed proforma can be sent by Email or submitted on-line until 15 May 2018 or alternatively be sent by post addressed to the following, so as to reach by 15th May 2018 :

The Chief Coordinator
Svayam Accessibility Awards 2018
C/o Svayam- Global Centre for Inclusive Environments
Jindal Centre, 12, Bhikaiji Cama Place, New Delhi - 110066, India
Phone +91-11-41462323, 41462080
Email: &
Website: ;

The nomination for the award can be also filled up by non-applicant i.e. one who is not bidding for the award for itself, however, it should be with the written consent of the organization being nominated and that in the event of their selection, they would accept the award.

Download the nomination / application form