No ATMs in Goa meet RBI’s accessibility guidelines: Survey
According to the survey, most banks either had stairs or were built on elevated platforms, while some of them were on levelled grounds, but the parking area blocked the entrance of the ATM
Not a single ATM has accessible ramps that followed the ‘1:12 gradient criteria’ (wheelchair ramps adhere to a 1:12 slope ratio), and most of the ATMs do not even have accessibility features like braille buttons, audio instructions, and other facilities that cater to the needs of persons with disability, according to a survey conducted by the students of the Goa Institute of Management (GIM) along with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Young Indians.
Banks have been advised by the Reserve Bank of India to provide talking ATMs with braille keypads for people with disability.
The survey was conducted to support the economic independence and economic inclusion of individuals with disabilities– access to safe, secure, and inexpensive financial goods and services.
According to the survey, most banks either had stairs or were built on elevated platforms, while some of them were on levelled grounds, but the parking area blocked the entrance of the ATM.
“The basic reason behind this difference in accessibility level was found to be the presence of pavements in high-density areas. The more developed parts in Goa had all their ATMs built on pavements which made it impossible for an ATM to have proper entry guidance followed,” revealed the survey.
“Since most ATMs were built on pavements, there was always an elevated platform that would make it inaccessible for any person in wheelchairs,” it noted.
V. Padmanabhan, professor at GIM, said the study was made with the intention of comparing the accessibility level of ATMs between high and low-populated areas.
“The course of action was also such that the places with low populations were surveyed first, moving towards the highly populated areas. We observed that the places with low populations have more accessible ATMs than those in high-population areas. We attributed the reason behind this being crowded footpaths that make it almost impossible to build ramps,” said Padmanabhan.
“What began as a tiny abridgement of financial inclusion, an extension and insight into the lives of a significant and indispensable component of our society, persons with disability, and everything they have to go through, became a learning experience for all of us,” added the professor.
The survey involved studying 98 ATMs belonging to 13 public and 13 private sector banks across Goa.