Our Partners

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

Svayam’s association with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) began in 2006 with the Qutub Minar project, which became accessible to visitors with reduced mobility due to the joint collaboration of the two organisations. This success led to both organisations entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), engaging Svayam as ASI’s Accessibility Consultant to ensure that all heritage sites, monuments, and protected properties under the ASI are gradually made accessible in a phased manner, beginning with the World Heritage Sites & Ticketed Monuments in the order of priority. The Ministry of Tourism acknowledged the joint efforts of both organisations by conferring the “National Tourism Award of Excellence” jointly on Svayam & the ASI in the year 2009 for the Qutab Minar and subsequently in the year 2012 for the Fatehpur Sikri Group of Monuments in Agra. Svayam has undertaken access audits of monuments, including Red Fort in Delhi, Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, Pinjore Gardens, Haryana, Jallianwala Bagh, Punjab and others.

The Government of Delhi

The Government of Delhi has always supported accessibility in public infrastructure. It has taken a stand that all infrastructures must be barrier-free and mandatorily meet access standards. The government of Delhi partnered with Svayam to co-host the TRANSED 2012 in India. Svayam was at the forefront of getting individuals with reduced mobility fully vaccinated so that no one is left behind in this fight against Coronavirus. At the request of the Delhi Government, Svayam provided safe and accessible transportation for more than 15 thousand individuals to visit vaccination centres.

DEPARTMENT OF FOREST (ECO-TOURISM), UTTARAKHAND

Svayam conducted a Workshop on Accessible Tourism in Dehradun in 2008, which initiated the Department of Forest (Ecotourism) activities as significant tourist sites in Uttarakhand are in and around the forest areas. At the invitation of the Chief Conservator of Forests (Ecotourism), Svayam conducted another training in 2009 in Dehradun, which followed a detailed access audit of Jim Corbett National Park (Corbett Tiger Reserve) and a sensitisation workshop for the Forest officials, local hospitality players NS self-help groups working on ecotourism in the region. Svayam also developed strategies for Jim Corbett and other properties in the region, to improve accessibility for people with reduced mobility. The audit of Raja ji National Park and Dehradun Zoo was also conducted to make it accessible.

Ministry Of Tourism, Govt. Of India

Spearheading the Slogan “Incredible India- Accessible India”, Svayam has been promoting the concept that Incredible India cannot be incredible unless it is Accessible to the Elderly, Children, Women, and those experiencing Disabilities. The Ministry of Tourism found the concept appealing, and it sought Svayam’s expertise in raising awareness of and training its officers, engineers and stakeholders on how to ensure accessibility at tourist destinations. Svayam conducted a one-day workshop hosted by the Ministry of Tourism on “Making Tourist Destinations Accessible to All” in October 2008. The senior officers of the ministry from Delhi and various state tourism departments, tourism development corporations, engineers, site developers, and officials from ASI attended the workshop that set the tone for standardising accessibility requirements at tourist destinations and in the hospitality sector. Svayam also represents the Core Committee constituted by the Ministry to promote Inclusive Tourism in India and on its “Technical Advisory Committee”. Svayam has actively assisted the Research Team of the Ministry that recently concluded its first-ever research on “Problems & Prospects of Accessible Tourism in India”. Most recently, Svayam conducted access audits of three religious sites in north India.

Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. Of India

Svayam worked with the Ministry of Urban Development on two major projects. First was the harmonisation of multiple guidelines for a barrier-free environment in India. Svayam was part of the core committee constituted by the ministry working to harmonise multiple guidelines and compile standard guidelines for India that are comprehensive and encompass international best practices in a barrier-free environment. Svayam also conducted an access audit of 64 Govt. buildings situated in different cities of India, such as Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, etc., and also two buildings each in the approved satellite towns. The comprehensive audit reports were submitted to the concerned department to implement the changes.

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Accessible India Campaign (AIC) is a nationwide flagship campaign of Govt. of India (Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment) for achieving universal accessibility for all citizens, including older people and persons with disabilities. With the firm commitment of the Government of India towards the socio-economic transformation of persons with reduced mobility, there is a crucial and urgent need to create mass awareness for promoting and implementing universal accessibility. To achieve this, Svayam has been a proud partner of the Govt of India in promoting the AIC. It has also conducted access audits of hundreds of govt. buildings in eight identified cities and have been engaged in raising stakeholders’ awareness on the subject. The buildings included hospitals, govt. buildings, police stations, airports, ghats, educational institutes, railway stations, bus stands, national highway toll posts, and courts. 

Indian Railways

Svayam Team in collaboration with Indian Railways along with the user groups conducted an access audit at a number of railway stations including railway stations of Ayodhya, Noida, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Varanasi, Ballabhgarh, Old Faridabad, Agra, Chennai, Coimbatore, etc. The project with Indian Railways intended to identify barriers that existed in the Station’s Buildings and make recommendations to overcome them. All the best practices that might exist were also highlighted. The audit so conducted was measured as per National Standards and compiled in report format. The Access Audit Report documented the observations of the auditors on the existing level of accessibility at the site and suggested cost-effective solutions to make it more accessible.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation

In 2017, Svayam organized a ‘National Meeting of Stakeholders’ in New Delhi to seek ideas and suggestions for improving the air travel experiences of persons with reduced mobility. The meeting was inaugurated by Svayam’s Founder – Chairperson, Ms. Sminu Jindal, in the presence of stakeholders, user groups, disability rights activists, and representatives of the DPOs, parent groups, and NGOs working with persons with disabilities. Diverse stakeholders nationwide, including those from Delhi NCR and remote locations via Skype and email, voiced concerns, shared experiences, and proposed improvements to the policy framework. During the meeting, through a message, Union Minister Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot affirmed the government’s commitment to enhancing the air travel experience for all, especially for people with disabilities.

ARUNIM (Association for Rehabilitation under National Trust Initiative of Marketing)

In 2010, ARUNIM (Association for Rehabilitation under National Trust Initiative of Marketing) extended an invitation to all members of National Trust & ARUNIM to participate in the E3 Challenge 2010; a challenge to invite business proposals to be selected as its first pilot projects for converting sheltered workshops to micro-enterprise model. ARUNIM was created as a society by National Trust and Svayam’s Founder – Chairperson, Ms. Sminu Jindal, was nominated by the Govt. of India, as its Chairperson. ARUNIM, an independent marketing federation, aimed to ensure minimum wages in sheltered work environments. Chaired by Ms. Jindal, it focused on skill development, innovative design, mechanization, and quality assurance. Under Mr. Jindal’s leadership, annual turnover surged from Rs. 3 lahks to Rs. 1 crore.

Government of Jammu & Kashmir

India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) appointed Svayam as its “Access Consultant” and signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2014 with an objective to make all hotels and monuments accessible to all. Accordingly, ITDC launched a project named “Ashok Access” and invited Svayam to audit several of its hotels. Svayam undertook an access audit of the Hotel Jammu Ashok and shared the report mentioning the observations on the existing level of accessibility at the site and suggested cost-effective solutions to make it more accessible and welcoming to all, irrespective of their age and abilities.

Svayam in another collaboration, suggested to the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, to outline An Access Policy and an Access Action Plan to free the Kashmir barrier. The said Access Plan promoted and boosted the development of a culture of inclusion for all its citizens, ensured a safe and accessible environment for all, a culturally vibrant community and a socially just society, and promoted Inclusive & Accessible Tourism, including Medical Tourism. To execute it, the Svayam team proposed to audit the facilities, taking measures and photographs along with the recommended way of making the built infrastructure barrier-free to all by ensuring sensitisation training to the technical personnel/stakeholders.

Election Commission of India

The Election Commission of India (ECI) took groundbreaking steps for inclusive elections, partnering with top civil society organizations, including Svayam. Ms. Smitha Sadasivan, ECI Consultant, played a vital role. The two-day “National Consultation on Accessible Elections” in July 2018 saw Chief Election Commissioner Shri OP Rawat inaugurating the event. A dedicated portal for the ECI’s ‘Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation’ (SVEEP) initiative was launched. The ECI unveiled a Strategic Framework for Accessible Elections, emphasising inclusion, especially for Persons with Disabilities (PwD). The theme ‘Inclusion of PwD’s’ aligned with the ECI’s mission and Strategic Plan 2016-2025, making “Accessible Elections” the central theme for National Voters’ Day celebrations.

Government of Telangana

Shri Thawarchand Gehlot, Honourable Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India (GOI), and Ms. Sminu Jindal, Founder, Svayam, jointly unveiled “Guidelines for Making Religious Places Accessible” in New Delhi in 2019. Prepared by Svayam, the Guidelines were jointly published by Svayam and the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD). The same guidelines booklet was then launched in Telangana with the state government. For the state of Telangana, the booklet was translated into Kannada by Svayam. The guidelines help management committees overseeing religious sites in providing minimum accessibility features at their shrines/places of worship.

DDA – Audit of Vikas Minar

Svayam was empanelled with the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India, under the “Accessible India Campaign”. In 2019, Svayam undertook the accessibility audit of Vikas Minar, New Delhi. The audit was conducted based on a checklist issued by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The audit was evaluated based on the physical accessibility of the place and its priority of making it accessible. Svayam provided its findings and solutions based on the site observations and discussions with the Officers and staff. Svayam took appropriate measures to elicit information and understand the perspective of the officials present at the site and provided workable solutions in the access audit report.

WATER.ORG (FAAS)

To promote accessible sanitation in rural India, Svayam and the Foundation for Accessible Aquanir and Sanitation (FAAS), India wing of water.org, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 2 August 2018. The project aimed to encourage people in rural areas to build accessible family toilets through credit financing. Over the past few years, through 24,500 Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLGs), and Community-Based Organisations (CBOs), this project has touched the lives of about 1.5 crore individuals (approximately 1% of India’s population) and trained over 1554 local plumbers and masons on accessible toilets. Over 1,008 families have successfully availed of nearly INR 3 Crore loans to facilitate the construction of accessible toilets in their homes. The project initially commenced in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Odisha later expanded to an additional nine states, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, and West Bengal.

DELHI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LIMITED (DIAL)

On 20 June 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Svayam and the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to improve the accessibility for persons with reduced mobility (PRM) at all existing and future Indira Gandhi International Airport projects. As part of the MoU, Svayam conducted access audits of the Terminal Buildings and Services provided to passengers with reduced mobility. The agreement also includes user testing by relevant stakeholders, training and sensitisation programmes to stakeholders involved in delivering services at the airport that will include airport and airline operators, Ground Handling Agencies, Vendors, and officials of DIAL, CISF, Indian Customs and AFRRO’s, etc.

DELHI TRANSPORT CORPORATION

Svayam audited the bus Q shelters under the Delhi Transport Corporation and reported that access needed to be provided to the shelters from the immediate road or service lane. Svayam suggested a design accepted by DTC, which is now an integral part of their Bus Q shelter design for new tenders.

NEW DELHI MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, INDIA

Svayam undertook an access audit of the New Delhi Municipal Council’s Office Building in 2006, which resulted in many accessibility improvements like designated parking, tactile pathways, lower counters, handrails along stairs, ramps on major approaches, and signages. Svayam also conducted a detailed audit of 240 Public Conveniences in the New Delhi Municipal Council area to suggest changes to make them accessible to all. A model Public Toilet Design with a unisex toilet was also proposed after the audit, which forms the basis of all future tenders for Public Toilet Units under the New Delhi Municipal Council. In collaboration with NMDC, Svayam undertook a walkability audit of arterial roads of Delhi under different municipalities such as NDMC, MCD, and DCB to assess the accessibility of pedestrian sidewalks/infrastructure issues. This audit resulted in a “Handbook on Barrier-free Urban Infrastructure” to help the Public Works Department and other municipal agencies incorporate accessibility in street infrastructure.

INDIA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (ITDC)

Svayam developed accessible Public Toilet Units with the India Tourism Development Corporation for the Ticket Complex outside Qutab Minar. The Ashok Hotel, Delhi, audit was also conducted to promote accessibility for persons with reduced mobility. Encouraged by the experience, ITDC engaged Svayam as their Access Consultant for promoting accessibility at the Heritage site of Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, and also entered into an MoU for promoting accessibility in all Ashok Hotels under the project “The Ashok Access”. Svayam audited Ashok properties in Delhi, Mathura, Agra, Bharatpur, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, and Mysore, to name a few.

Delhi Metro (DMRC)

In July 2018, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) awarded ten metro stations to Svayam to conduct an access audit to make them accessible and inclusive for passengers with reduced mobility. The stations were – AIIMS, Moolchand, Vishwavidyalaya, Jahangirpuri and New Ashok Nagar, Nangloi, Shahdara, Pitampura, and New Delhi. The Svayam team conducted the detailed access audit. It offered comprehensive recommendations and suggestions on best practices to help make these stations accessible for passengers with reduced mobility.

Dalai Lama Temple Complex, Dharamsala

Our founder–chairperson, Ms Sminu Jindal met His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to discuss accessibility in 2010. Moved to hear how inaccessibility affects many, he called to make necessary accessibility improvements in the Namgyal Monastery, the Dalai Lama Temple Complex in Dharamsala. It is also the residence and office of the current 14th Dalai Lama and is also known as Namgyal Monastery. Post Svayam’s audit, handrails, ramps, and other accessible facilities were added to the monastery complex.

Khelo India / Sports Authority of India (SAI)

In November 2023, Svayam signed a Memorandum of Association (MoA) with Khelo India for it’s first-ever Khelo India Para Games 2023 as an official Accessibility Partner. The collaboration aimed to enhance accessibility for young para-athletes in infrastructure and transportation. Svayam was crucial in providing accessible transportation for more than 1300 para-athletes, officials, and coaches, ensuring a safe and dignified commute from arrival to departure, including transport between accommodations and stadiums. Additionally, Svayam conducted sensitisation training for 400 volunteers and Khelo India officials involved in the event. In a commitment to holistic development regardless of physical abilities, Svayam also conducted a comprehensive accessibility audit of the three major stadiums.

National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) Foundation

On March 2023, in Delhi, Svayam and the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) Foundation entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to expand the Accessible Family Toilet project to 17 Swalamban Kendras across seven northern states of India. The inaugural activity was conducted in Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh, focusing on training plumbers and masons to construct accessible toilets. NHFDC Foundation also plans to develop Kannauj as a model town for accessibility.

Unique Identification Authority of India

Svayam, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), and the Delhi Government joined hands to facilitate the enrolment of people with disabilities for the Unique Identification (UID) number- Aadhaar. Svayam, along with UIDAI and Delhi Government organized Special Enrolment Camps across the state of Delhi.  This initiative facilitated Svayam’s outreach to individuals with disabilities, NGOs, DPOs, and CSOs throughout the city. Svayam strategically placed kiosks to assist individuals with reduced mobility in enrollment, concurrently developing guidelines outlining the requisite documents and eligibility criteria for availing services. Svayam played a crucial role in offering access for individuals with reduced mobility to obtain a crucial identification.

ITC WELCOMGROUP & HYATT HOTEL, DELHI

Svayam joined hands with hospitality giants and audited their premium hotel properties on the invitation. Svayam, in its audit reports, gave suggestions to improve accessibility in these hotels to make them more welcoming to guests with reduced mobility, which the hotels implemented.

ASHOKA UNIVERSITY, INDIA

Svayam and Ashoka University had joined hands to make the University the first fully accessible centre of higher education. Both organisations entered into an MoU to integrate accessibility in every part of the campus. Svayam helped the university at various stages to incorporate accessibility on campus through access and review audits and to hold sensitisation meetings with the project officials.

BHARATIYA VIDYA BHAVAN’S USHA & LAKSHMI MITTAL INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT (BULMIM), NEW DELHI

To raise awareness about Universal Design and Accessibility, Svayam provides internship opportunities to management, engineering, architecture, and law students from various institutions. One major institution that regularly participates in this internship program is the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Usha & Lakshmi Mittal Institute of Management in New Delhi.

O.P.Jindal Global University

In February 2022, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, and Svayam to encourage cooperation in promoting Universal Accessibility. Svayam actively conducted access audits and training programs at the camps and among the students. The collaboration further continues to promote accessibility in the educational institution.

World Bank

Svayam collaborated with the World Bank to host a stakeholders’ meeting dedicated to the formulation of the World Bank’s toolkit on safe driving. In partnership with the World Bank, Svayam crafted guidelines titled “Para-Transit for Mobility-Impaired Persons in Developing Regions: Starting Up and Scaling Up.” Additionally, Svayam conducted a testing session in New Delhi to enhance the accessibility of motorized auto-rickshaws.

International Conference on Accessible Tourism (ICAT) at Singapore

Svayam’s representative spoke about Incredible India-Inclusive India to focus on key issues and strategies for promoting accessible tourism. The Conference was attended by participants and speakers from various Asia-Pacific countries like Spain, Israel, Australia, Thailand, Japan, etc

Transport Research Board, Washington (TRB), USA

Svayam was a member of the Access and Mobility, ABE 60 committee of the Transport Research Board and participated consistently in its annual meetings from 2009 to 2020 to bring forward various developments and challenges India faces in achieving an inclusive and accessible transport infrastructure.

International Transport Forum, Germany

Svayam hosted an event titled “Funding Accessible Transport” at the Annual Summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF) held in 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. During the event, an urgent need for funding to develop new accessible transport systems and retrofit existing ones was foreseen. The aim of creating accessible, affordable, economically viable, people-oriented, and environment-friendly transport systems was highlighted. Svayam emerged as a leading supporter and advocator who provided segment-specific suggestions for Accessible Tourism during the event.

United Nations, New York

Participated at the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Disability and Development held at UN Headquarters, New York in September. Svayam actively contributed to the deliberations which revolved around the theme “The Way Forward: A disability-inclusive Development Agenda towards 2015 and Beyond”. Svayam’s project titled “Enabling Access to World Heritage” was shortlisted as one of the innovative practices on accessibility and was showcased to participants from across 50 countries.

Accessible Kenya Mission

Svayam has collaborated with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), Govt. of Kenya for “Promoting Accessibility in the public infrastructure of Kenya to make mobility and transportation more inclusive and to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To add wings to the National Council’s efforts in achieving greater accessibility in Kenya’s public infrastructure and services, Svayam and the National Council have jointly launched a detailed Action Plan titled ‘Accessible Kenya Mission’ to contribute to capacity building of stakeholders and facilitate the strategies for achieving accessibility in the built environment, public transportation and services in Kenya. Svayam conducted Accessibility Training Courses to prepare a fleet of Access Auditors from the Social Development Sector and Public Officials who are engaged in creating, managing or monitoring the public infrastructure.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (2013)

Dr. Sudhir Krishna, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India accompanied Svayam to Washington to study the para-transit system that has been adopted by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for mobility-impaired residents.

TRANSED – Taiwan

Svayam, Founder – Chairperson, Ms. Sminu Jindal gave away the ‘Svayam Accessibility Awards 2018 (Taiwan Edition)’ at Taipei on the sidelines of 15th International Conference on Mobility and Transportation for the Elderly and Disabled People (TRANSED2018), on 14th November 2018 to leading government and non-government agencies of Taiwan for their wonderful initiatives to promote Accessibility For All and inclusion.

Capacity Building

While the access audit recommends ways of making a building or service more accessible, there may be areas where structural design may not allow much change. Even in case of an emergency, the staff needs to assist customers/us

Accessibility& Audit

The access audit identifies barriers that may exist in the present infrastructure and make recommendations to overcome them. All the good features that exist are also highlighted in the audit. During the audit the team members go around all

Access Consultancy

Svayam also provides consultancy services to help organisations incorporate accessibility at design stage itself and also while the project is executed to ensure that the end product is compliant to the accessibility