WASHINGTON: An Indian-American techie has been appointed as advisor to the 'Accessible India' campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make transport, public spaces and information and communication technology accessible to differently-abled people.

Pranav Desai, a polio survivor, is vice president with a Global IT Services Company and had played a key role in inclusion of issues related to specially-abled people in the ruling BJP's Vision 2020 document and its election manifesto.

Desai who had met the Prime Minister Modi when the latter toured Silicon Valley in September said the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) to be launched on December 3 would jump start transformation by creating massive awareness for disability sector.

Desai was appointed advisor to the 'Accessible India' campaign by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
He is the founder of non-governmental Voice of Accessible India (VoSAP) which has been working on multi-pronged approach as part of roadmap to achieve Vision 2020 such as providing policy inputs on assisting technologies, proposals to railways, finance and seven other ministries for adopting inclusive policy decisions, a media release said.

Accessible India Campaign (AIC), he said, is now becoming countrywide reality and inspiration to other nations in the world as well. The campaign by the government, social leaders and media will help sensitize society at large and accelerate change/transformation, he added.

Desai said Art of Living Foundation of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has also joined the campaign. "Today as India is taking great strides in the fields of technological advances, economic development and social transformation, Sri Sri would like that we all make a conscious effort to include the specially-abled people of India and their integration in our everyday life, make it a priority," the statement said.
 
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An NRI Commission with quasi judicial powers will be constituted in Kerala to protect the interests of Non residents hailing from the state, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here today. (25 Nov)

The commission will have a retired High Court judge as its chairman, Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting. It will be headquartered in the state capital and will have its sitting once in three months.

A retired IAS officer and two NRIs will also form part of the commission, which envisages protecting the rights, interests and properties of the NRI diaspora, considered as the state's backbone on the basis of their remittances to the state.

Punjab is the only other state which has a commission for NRIs.