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Changes planned to assist disabled in Georgia

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, February 17
Special privileges will be introduced for people with disabilities in various towns across Georgia. The project aimed at easing the lifestyles of disabled was successfully discussed at the Tbilisi City Hall on February 16. League of People with Disabilities shared the problems they face due to a lack of infrastructural services in the capital. Improvements of infrastructure for people with special needs include the creation of relevant transport infrastructure, provision of architectural privileges: buildings with wider entrances, lifts, etc.

Mamuka Katsarava, Head of Tbilisi City Hall Social Care and Culture Municipal Department, explained that a great amount of money is needed for successful implementation of all the projects. "The Georgian Government seems to lack funding for fully providing disabled people with all the relevant infrastructural services necessary for their re-socialization. “We are constantly discussing the problems concerning people with special needs and trying hard to operatively deal with all the burning issues,” Katsarava stated.

Discussing each and every detail of the problems, the sides specified all the main needs for the disabled. Special spaces on pavements, parks and squares will be marked for disabled persons. Chairman of the League of People with Disabilities Giorgi Dzneladze worried of the hard conditions such people face every day. Stressing how inadequate the Georgian environment is towards the needs of disabled people, Dzneladze suggested changing the situation. “We have been promised that changes will take place within the society. There have already been some steps forward but unfortunately they are too slow,” Dzneladze said hoping that all the promises given by Tbilisi City Hall will be honoured quickly.

Union of Blinds of Georgia also demanded the introduction of sound messages at light signals and bus stops so that the disabled passengers can hear the numbers of the relevant buses they await. Akaki Jokhadze Head of Transport Municipal Department told the media that such special infrastructure is already being provided at the light signals everywhere around Tbilisi. It means that blind people will now have an opportunity to freely cross the streets.

Tbilisi City Hall will also ensure that the buses running the town have the relevant spaces and entrances for disabled people. Transport Municipal Department has already started carrying out particular activities in this direction. They have provided 40 buses equipped with relevant techniques. All the new buses the country will receive in future will also be equipped with the necessary attributes. These buses will serve to improve transportation of disabled people on vehicles. The people with disabilities are equal to any citizen and their re-socialization process should be a top priority for any country.