ANI Photo | Delhi HC’s notice to Centre on PIL seeks secure access for visually impaired persons to medicines, food, cosmetics

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking secure effective access for visually impaired persons to medicines, food, cosmetics and other consumer products.
The plea stated that visually impaired persons face immense difficulties in taking medicines; such persons feel for shape, and size of the tablet and do not even have the benefit of differentiating drugs based on colour. Due to a lack of accessible information, visually impaired persons may take the wrong medicines leading to major health problems, adverse reactions and even loss of life.
PIL has been moved by NGO named The Kapila & Nirmal Hingorani Foundation on the basis of information provided by two Delhi University Professors, who are also visually impaired.
It stated that the scope for utilizing the capabilities of smartphones with QR Codes to help visually impaired persons identify products and access all relevant product information is huge. It also stated that the use of QR Codes for medicinal products could help combat the growing menace of counterfeit and substandard medicines which represent an enormous public health challenge, besides causing financial loss and damage to the reputation of trusted pharmaceutical companies.
The plea further stated that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, which is in conformity with such constitutional and fundamental rights of the visually impaired, specifically provides for (i) measures/ schemes/ programmes to promote their healthcare (ii) standards of accessibility for information and communications, including appropriate technologies and systems, and other facilities and services provided to the public in urban and rural areas and (iii) measures to promote development, production and distribution of universally designed consumer products and accessories for general use for persons with disabilities.
Plea seeks direction to the concerned authorities to secure effective access for visually impaired persons to medicines, food, cosmetics and other consumer products and towards this end, to take comprehensive measures and adopt comprehensive guidelines on affixing QR Codes on such products, plea read.

This report is filed by ANI news service.

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