Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi in KeralaReuters

One of the most popular heritage sites in Kerala, Fort Kochi, will soon become the first disabled-friendly tourist destination in the state with essential facilities for people with visual, hearing, cognitive and mobility impairment.

Specially designed ramps and non-slippery tiles will also be developed in the walkways to help elderly and disabled people who visit the Queen of Arabian Sea.

The tourism board has also announced its plans to cast iron handrails near Chinese fishing nets, which is one of the major attractions at the heritage site. Other facilities like special toilets and seating arrangements will also be provided to make Fort Kochi a disabled-friendly area in Kerala.

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There are also plans to start information centres that provide sign language training to the tourist guides apart from coming up with sign boards helping the visually challenged people.

Meanwhile, the board also has plans to make other prominent tourist locations in the state as disabled-friendly sites as part of fulfilling the World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) goal of "Tourism for All."

"We are on the job to create basic facilities for leisure and recreation for people with special needs by December 3 in major destinations," Kerala Tourism Minister AC Moideen told The Hindu. According to UNWTO, 15 per cent of the world's population is said to be living with some kind of disability.