Creating an Inclusive and Accessible Varanasi City

National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA)
March 12, 2021
Case Studies and Reports


National Institute of Urban Affairs is implementing the Building Accessible, Inclusive and Safe Indian Cities (BASIIC)Programme in collaboration with Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and support from Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK Government in an effort to mainstream the need of Disability-Inclusion across urban planning and policy approach within the Indian Cities.

The programme intends to work with diverse stakeholders and partners. Currently, it is supporting two partner cities (Varanasi and Pune) through a Technical Support and Assistance Unit (TASU) established at NIUA. Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) is a research and practice centre driving disability innovation for a fairer world. Currently, its operational in 35 countries, delivering 35 projects with solutions focussed across subjects related to Inclusive Design, Culture and participation, Assistive Technology etc. AT2030 is one of the ongoing programmes led by GDI Hub and funded by UK aid. It intends to improve access to life changing Assistive Technology (AT) for all by investing £20m over a duration of 5 years to create a positive impact on the lives of 9 million people. GDI Hub and NIUA have entered into a partnership under the BASIIC Programme (NIUA-led) and AT2030 programme (GDI Hub-led).

Under the partnership, the institutions are collaborating on research initiatives. GDI Hub is conducting a series of global case studies on inclusive and accessible cities/ infrastructure, funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development office (FCDO) of the UK Government, where Varanasi is one of the selected case study cities.

The study will also build understanding on the current awareness and application of disability inclusive design approaches. One of the ongoing initiatives under this partnership is to conduct an audit and assessment study on understanding the current approach and city level efforts towards disability inclusion in Varanasi City. The findings from the study would highlight key insights and recommendations to transform Varanasi City as accessible, safe, and inclusive for all.