I write this letter to bring to your attention a matter of worthy of serious
consideration and one that hinders the disabled community from realizing their rights. It
is regarding the difficulties persons with disabilities face in accessing theatres, cinema halls
and content on OTT platforms.
India has the largest blind population in the world as well as a significant population
with hearing impairments. Both these groups along with persons with other kind of
disabilities are being denied access to theatres and other places of recreation. This is
despite the mandate to the government in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016
to ensure accessibility to information and communication technology. The Delhi High
Court too recognized this injustice in the case of Akshat Baldwa vs Yash Raj Films and
ordered your ministry to hold stakeholder consultations and frame necessary guidelines.
Taking measures like providing audio descriptions, closed captions, ramps and other
similar accommodations go a long way in ensuring dignity and equality for the disabled
community. In our country, cinema is of great cultural and social significance. It helps us
enjoy a community life and the continuous denial of cinema and other recreational
activities to disabled persons is unacceptable.
Considering the above, I urge you to ensure that the ministry conducts stakeholder
consultations at the earliest and issue strict guidelines to ensure access to theatre, cinema,
OTT platforms and other arenas of entertainment and recreation to the millions of persons
with disabilities in our country.