Do the disabled people have easy access to ATMs?
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued a master circular in 2009 to the banks for provision of ramps in all ATMs (automated teller machines) so that wheelchair users and disabled can easily access them and for arranging the height of ATMs to suit persons on wheelchairs. The circular was issued in the light of Section 46 of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking the details of disabled-friendly ATMs, the RBI has informed that it does not have any data regarding the disabled friendly ATM. Activists have charged that little action has been taken in this regard.
India has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Article 9 (on accessibility) which is legally binding. Further, the responsibility of ensuring that the circular issued by RBI is implemented rests with the RBI. The office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) issued an order in December 2011 to ensure the ATMs are made accessible to persons with disabilities in a time-bound manner which does not appear to have been followed.