Enabling Unit

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Enabling Unit
Enabling Unit, UCMS, Delhi.jpg
Founded 2011
Type Disability Organization
Key people
Satendra Singh
Website EU, EOC, UCMS

The Enabling Unit, Equal Opportunity Cell is based at University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi. It ensures affirmative action’s concerning persons with disabilities including students, nonteaching staff, faculty as well as patients at University College of Medical Sciences. It is first such unit for students with disabilities in any medical institution in India.[1]


The Enabling Unit is the first such unit in any medical college in India[2] and was created as per the University Grants Commission (India) guidelines and disability policy of University of Delhi. Dr Satendra Singh was appointed the Coordinator in 2011 who constituted an 'Equality and Diversity Committee' to include the disability perspective.[3] All the members of this committee are persons with disabilities in line with the motto ‘Nothing About Us Without Us[4] and recommendations of the World report on disability. The composition is also in conjunction with theme of United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2011- “Together for a better world for all: Including Persons with Disabilities in Development.”

Initiatives of the Enabling Unit[edit]

Accessibility of all the medical institutions in India

On the petition of Coordinator, Dr Satendra Singh, Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India instructed Medical Council of India to make all medical institutions in India accessible to persons with disabilities and submit a compliance report.[5][6][7]

Disabled friendly voting system

Dr Singh highlighted the problems faced by disabled voters in Delhi legislative assembly elections, 2013 [8][9][10] and wrote to Election Commission of Delhi to rectify the problems.[11] He showed the lack of preparedness of Election Commission towards electors with disabilities through Right to Information. A month before the general elections in Delhi, he was invited by Chief Electoral Office to make the elections inclusive for disabled voters.[12] He sensitized the election officers and helped in keeping the data of voters with disability in Delhi.[13]

Accessible Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s)

Bank of Baroda ATM made accessible by Enabling Unit

Both the Bank of Baroda ATM and the Canara Bank ATM at University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital were inaccessible to persons with disabilities.[14] After a lengthy advocacy by Enabling Unit and directives from Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, both the respective Banks constructed ramps to make the ATM's accessible to wheelchair users.[15][16]

Inccessible Post Offices in New Delhi

India Postal Services (trading as India Post) in New Delhi was found to be inaccessible when information under the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) by the Coordinator of Enabling Unit, Dr Satendra Singh, revealed that a majority of post offices in India's capital city are inaccessible to persons with disabilities.[17][18][19][20]

Plea to simplify process of getting assistive devices from Indian Red Cross Society

Coordinator, Dr Singh, highlighted the complex procedure for availing free assistive devices from Indian Red Cross Society, Haryana Branch.[21] The Indian Red Cross Society, Haryana State branch acknowledged the lacuna and vowed to simplify the procedure without accounting system.[22]

Ramps at all the hostel's of University College of Medical Sciences

Accessibility of hospital campus The unit was instrumental in making the hospital campus accessible to students with disabilities. New ramps were constructed outside college foyer, emergency gate, boy's hostel, girl's hostel, resident hostel, outside cafetaria and post office and bank entrance. A dedicated accessible parking is earmarked just outside college entrance.

Clearing air on World Polio Day commemorated to celebrate Salk's birthday

Coordinator of Enabling Unit challenged the erroneous correlation of Jonas Salk's birthday with World Polio Day. His publication in the journal 'Vaccine' clears the air with appropriate references and contributes to correction of literature.[23][24]

Identification of posts by Union Public Service Commission

Dr Singh brought into open the discrimination by Union Public Service Commission which disallowed doctors with disabilities to apply for various posts. He himself was rejected in 2011 but fought and was later allowed with other disabled doctors to appear for the interview.[25][26] In 2013, his application was again rejected when he highlighted that same discrimination is also there for the other posts.[27] He requested health ministry to allow all eligible doctors with disabilities to apply for these posts. He was allowed to apply in a quick intervention.[28][29][30]

Promotion of active International Symbol of Access (ISA)

Modified ISA promoted by Enabling Unit at UCMS

As part of its accessibility advocacy, the unit is promoting active ISA as it portrays dynamism and focuses on person rather disability. The traditional ISA shows a static image with wheelchair as focus rather than the person. The revised ISA not only focuses on an active and engaged image but also stressed on the person involved and in a way fosters People-first language. The unit has sent representation to apex body to incorporate new ISA in India.[31]

Infinite Ability

Coordinator, Enabling Unit is also founder of Infinite Ability - a disability subgroup on medical humanities.


Dr Satendra Singh, the man behind the Enabling Unit received the NCPEDP MphasiS Universal Design Awards 2013, as a recognition of his work in the field of promoting Accessibility and Universal Design and thus ensuring life of equality and dignity for disabled people.[32][33][34]


  1. ^ Singh, S (May 2012). "Broadening horizons: looking beyond disability". Medical education. 46 (5): 522. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2012.04246.x. PMID 22515781. 
  2. ^ "Hope in India as Mandatory Access For People with Disability Takes Shape". India America Today News Service. 8 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Das, Neha (4 Dec 2012). "Impossible is nothing when it comes to the specially abled". Deccan Herald. 
  4. ^ "Heart of Gold: Man of Infinite Ability". The Times of India. 
  5. ^ "MCI asks all medical institutions to be 'accessible'". The Hindu. 18 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "AIIMS plans access to disabled, others silent". The Times of India. 12 Aug 2013. 
  7. ^ "Most medical colleges ignore directive on facilities for disabled". The Hindu. 12 Aug 2013. 
  8. ^ "Not a disabled friendly electoral system". The Hindu. 5 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Matdaan kendro par viklango ke liye jaroori suvidhao ka abhav". Hindustan. 3 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Raw deal for physically challenged voters". The Statesman, page 2. 5 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Delhi election 2013: Disabled voters rip apart system on web". The Times of India. 6 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Call for inclusive elections". Hindu. 20 Mar 2014. 
  13. ^ "Voters with disability can register online". Times of India. 27 Mar 2014. 
  14. ^ Gohain, Manash Pratim (3 Dec 2012). "Few ATMs disabled-friendly". The Times of India. 
  15. ^ Singh, Chandan Prakash (24 April 2013). "Doctor's efforts bring disabled-friendly ATMs at GTB Hospital". The Statesman, Delhi Edition, Page 3. 
  16. ^ "UN International Council on Disabilities". Archived from the original on 2013-07-05. 
  17. ^ "No ease of access to post offices for disabled". The Times Of India Delhi. 29 Oct 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Many post offices not accessible to disabled, reveals RTI query". The Hindu. 12 Nov 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Capital shocker: Post offices lack facilities for disabled". The Statesman. 5 Nov 2012. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  20. ^ Bhalla, Jaya Shroff (2 Dec 2012). "Access denied: Delhi not for disabled". The Hindustan Times. 
  21. ^ "Jatil hai viklango ke liye muft upkaran pana". Dainik Jaagran, Haryana Edition, Page 1. 21 June 2012. 
  22. ^ "Discrimination of PWD in getting assistive devices". 
  23. ^ Singh, S (Dec 3, 2012). "It's time to correct the literature". Vaccine. 31 (4): 591. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.11.059. PMID 23219693. 
  24. ^ "Polio survivor's fight to correct date of Salk's b'day". The Statesman, Delhi edn, page 5. 23 Oct 2013. 
  25. ^ "M.S.J.E. doesn't consider disabled doctors fit for teaching jobs". D.N.I.S. 1 March 2011. 
  26. ^ "UPSC discriminating against me, alleges differently-abled doctor". The Hindu. 10 Nov 2013. 
  27. ^ "Rejected by UPSC twice, physically challenged doctor battles for justice". 8 Nov 2013. 
  28. ^ "Success for Dr Singh, but other physically challenged doctors still in lurch". India Medical Times. 14 Nov 2013. 
  29. ^ "http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/doctor-with-disability-alleges-discrimination-by-upsc/article5356631.ece". The Hindu. 16 Nov 2013.  External link in |title= (help)
  30. ^ "UPSC flouts govt's job criteria for disabled". The Times of India. 16 Nov 2013. 
  31. ^ "Medical partners I The accessible icon project". Archived from the original on 2013-07-01. 
  32. ^ "List of Awardees: NCPEDP MPHASIS UNIVERSAL DESIGN AWARDS 2013". Disability News & Information Service. 
  33. ^ "Disability awards presented". Business Standard. 14 Aug 2013. 
  34. ^ "They innovate to e-nable". The Times of India. 15 Aug 2013.