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Wheelchair users face same problems

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, August 21
Georgia has not yet created a normal environment for wheelchair users. There are a few usable ramps on the streets and no adapted transport in cities.

However, the government has to implement a strategy owing to the Association Agreement the country has signed with the EU. The maximal term for adopting the changes is 4 years.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili declared 2013 as the year for people with disabilities. However, according to the people who have to move with wheelchairs, they do not see much progress.

Gharibashvili opened the first ramp of the Tbilisi Chancellery eight months ago and promised all the state buildings would accommodate wheelchairs.

Newly elected Mayor of Tbilisi Davit Narmania claims that the process has been launched.

“We are going to start working on this project from next year. Permission will not be given for those construction projects that do not accommodate people with disabilities,” Narmania said.

Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi Alexander Margishvili says that the problem is serious.

“This problem cannot be solved in a year or two, it will take some time, but we are already working on a project to find swift solutions,” stated Margishvili.

There is one more problem as well that is also related to double spending of money. Head of the coalition for Independent Life Giorgi Dzneladze says that most of the recently made ramps are useless.

“If a person has extra weight he will not able to use any of those existing ramps. Also many of them are unusable for everyone,” stated Dzneladze.

On March 13, 2014, Georgia became the 34th country in Asia and the Pacific, and the 143rd in the world, to join the group of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2006, and came into force on May 3 2008.