Belagavi Smart City won the Top Spot in the Prestigious United Nations and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) Smart Solutions Challenge for Inclusive Cities. The category was PAN City Implemented Solutions and Belagavi Smart City won the first position for its Multi-Dimensional Inclusiveness in Education and Healthcare.
“We are very excited in achieving this recognition. Belagavi stands tall in inclusivity. All our projects over the past 7 years have been focusing on facilities for the Elderly, Women, Girls, Children and Specially Abled. We recognized that inclusivity in any project is as fundamental as cement and brick to a building. We have to look beyond. We looked up to technology enabling us. And we succeeded. This award is just a validation of our implementation. This is a citizens achievement”, said Dr. Praveen Bagewadi, Managing Director of Belagavi Smart City.
“When I proposed the commissioning of Mahatma Phule Park for the Specially-Abled, everyone said that it was a very good move. They said that no city will spend money on 2,200 specially abled autistic citizens. But we did. We recognized the need of these children and their families. Now that park has become a therapy center for not only the specially abled, but also for other visitors who feel satisfied and happy looking at these children play and run around”, said Shr. Ahay Patil, Belagavi City South MLA.
“Building Libraries and Kids Corners is not just about reading and learning. It is also about fulfilling inclusive parameters. We built the world’s most advanced Digital Library and Kids Corner for all citizens. We have eBooks co-authored by Artificial Intelligence and Humans and for Dyslexic, ADHD and Blind Citizens and Children. We have Language Learning for Elderly, Women, Girls apart from the Specially abled. We have eNewpapers and eMagazines for our elderly citizens that they can read in any font size and digital magnifiers. Technology is what I pushed at our city”, he added.
- Advertisement -
“We have a kids zone that identifies cognitive deficiencies early on. We can measure, monitor and manage cognitive skills with the help of technology built using Cognitive Neuroscience techniques. We have Pedagogists that help children who come to the kids zone. I have requested the Smart City Management to take both the Advanced Digital Library and Cognitive Kids Corner to all educational institutions across the city”, he said.
“I am not surprised that Belagavi City got this award. After being a beneficiary of the Therapies for my child, I was sure that they would be recognized for their good projects”, said Mrs.Shetty, a mother of an Autistic Child.
“The city has bright future. And we proved something that can be replicated by all cities across India. Our Integrated Command Control Center that provides Smartness-as-a-Service, is a boon to social Entrepreneurs. Once you show that there is economy and that the enterprises can take off easily in the social sectors, Entrepreneurs will come and build.”, said Dr. Praveen Bagewadi.
“Social Awareness is key to success of inclusive projects. The Citizens of Belagavi score high on this. And we are a city of educated. With VTU, the mother of all state level engineering colleges and Rani Chennamma University that is reputed for its Diversity, we could pool in the expertise locally. Multi-Dimensional Inclusiveness is an apt title for the award. We implemented projects that covered all aspects”, said Anil Benake, Belagavi City South MLA.
About: The Smart Solutions Challenge is an initiative of the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and United Nations in India to address the city-level accessibility and inclusion challenges. The initiative seeks to leverage innovative solutions for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 11, Target 11.7 – ‘By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive, and accessible, green, and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons, and persons with disabilities’.
About Belagavi Inclusivity: Belagavi Smart City implemented Projects like Ravindra Kaushik e-Library, Smart Kids Corner, Mahatma Phule Park, 30 Bedded Maternity Hospital, 10 Bedded Maternity Hospital, Upgradation of Anganwadis, Kanabargi Lake Rejuvination, …………………..