ANJLEE AGARWAL Founder and Executive Director
ANJLEE AGARWAL Founder and Executive Director
Anjlee Agarwal is accessibility consultant, researcher and author, well-known in Asia Pacific. She is co-founder Samarthyam (, disabled persons organization founded in 1994. Samarthyam has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECSOC) since 2015. Samarthyam’s goal is to promote the understanding and implementation of accessibility of the sustainable built, social and virtual environments, using the guiding principles of Universal Design. Anjlee’s pioneering efforts in the past two decades have resulted in implementation of Universal Design and promotion of non-handicapping environment in the country. She works on capacity building of the community to bring about inclusion across differences and diversities. “Promoting Sustainable and livable societies is her mission and she is passionate about people friendly cities where mobility is without barriers.”

As a woman with disability herself, she believes in active advocacy and has brought policy level changes to make Incredible India = Inclusive India. She has organized several mass awareness campaigns in India on social issues, viz. Right to Walk; Right to Sanitation; Inclusive Education; Violence Against Women and Empowerment of Women with Disabilities, Make The Right Real, etc.

She is regularly nominated by the Government of India as a subject expert to advice on program and policies relating to universal accessibility. She undertakes Accessibility, WalkAbility and Road Safety Audits in built and outdoor environments, transportation infrastructure. She has been a catalyst in re-designing the accessibility of public infrastructure, mass rapid transit systems (Delhi Metro 2004 and BRT Delhi, 2012), the design and retrofitting of prime tourist sites (pilot project Dilli Haat, 2006), universities, sports and recreation venues (Commonwealth Games 2010), pedestrian infrastructure and public places, to make them universally accessible. Anjlee has authored several guidelines and codes on universal accessibility, which are widely used as resource manuals by professionals, architects, engineers, planners and designers, etc. She has authored more than 74 papers on universal design and accessibility, which are published in international and national journals.

Accessibility Audit and Experience:

Over 5900 sites in the country since 1998

Team Leader & Access Auditor, Accessible India Campaign- 5 cities: Pune, Chennai, Bhubaneshwar, Trivandrum and Raipur


  • 2016 Co-speaker, accountability, Advancing rights of women with disabilities, AWID Forum, Brazil
  • 2016 Best Innovative Policy Award, Zero Project, United Nations, Vienna, Austria
  • 2015 Exemplary Women Award, Delhi State, Honoring achievers on International Disability Day
  • 2015 India Sustainable Leadership Award, honoring most Influential Sustainability Leaders
  • 2014 National Leadership Award, presented by Hon’ble Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India
  • 2012 Super Idols Awards honoring achievers with special abilities who have soared beyond physical challenges and conventional barriers to realize their chosen dreams.
  • 2009 Noble Laureates- Karamveer Purskaar, National Awards for Social Justice and Citizen Action
  • 2005 Social Act of Courage- 13th Red & White Bravery Gold Award, Delhi State
  • 2005 Cavinkare Ability Mastery Award
  • 2003 President Award: Role Model, presented by Hon’ble Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Former President of India



  • Indian Roads Congress H8 Committee for developing Codes and Guidelines on Pedestrian Facilities, Urban Roads and Bus Rapid Transit, since 2009-till date
  • Steering Committee, Accessible India Campaign, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India.
  • Screening Committee of National Award for the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities, 2008-09, under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • Committee on Functional Requirements in Buildings of Bureau of Indian Standards, Government of India
  • Board Member and Country Representative, The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), Ottawa, Canada
  • Member, Rehabilitation International, Global, ICTA Commission
  • Associate Member- Asia Pacific Development Centre on Disability (APCD), Bangkok (Thailand)
  • Member, Transport Research Board (TRB), UK
  • Member, Clean Air Initiative, Manila
  • Member, Steering Committee, Accessible India Campaign, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, India
  • Member, Indian Roads Congress, India
  • Member, Child Rights Alliance, India
    2012-15, State Executive Committee, Government of NCT, Delhi
  • 2011-2015, Task Force for establishment of a National Institute of Inclusive & Universal Design
  • Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India
  • Design for All Institute, India
  • Equal Opportunity Cell, University of Delhi,
  • ICONGO Confederation of NGOs, India


International Representation:

  • 2016 Lead Speaker, United Nations, Zero Project Conference on Schools for All, Vienna, Austria
  • 2015 Session organizer “Universal Accessibility”, 3rd World Conference, The Hague, Netherlands
  • 2015 South Asian Feminist Regional Forum, Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 2015 Country Representative GAATES and Women with Disabilities India Network, Consultation of State Parties 8th Session (COSP8), the United Nations, New York, US
  • 2015 Key Note Speaker, Business for All, Association of Women with Disabilities, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • 2015 Observer, 2nd Working Group, Make the Right Real, Incheon Strategy, UNESCAP, India
  • 2015 Country Representative GAATES and Women with Disabilities India Network, Consultation of State Parties 8th Session (COSP8), the United Nations, New York
  • 2015 Key Note Speaker, Business for All, Association of Women with Disabilities, Kazakhstan
  • 2015 Observer, 2nd Working Group, Make the Right Real, Incheon Strategy, UNESCAP, India
  • 2014 Speaker, Transport Forum, Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines
  • 2014 Representative Women with Disabilities Rights, India at the 58th Session of CEDAW, UN Head Quarters, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2013 Leader, India Delegation on Right to Sanitation Campaign in South Asia, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 2012 Chair & Speaker, 13th International Conference on Transport & Mobility for Elderly & the Disabled, New Delhi, India
  • 2012 Organizer, Access for All Workshop, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 2010 Chair & Speaker, 12th International Conference on Transport & Mobility for Elderly & the Disabled, Hong Kong
  • 2009 Master Resource person and Access Consultant for framing of Universal Design Guidelines for Refugee Camps and Villages, Bangladesh
  • 2008 Resource Person & Organizer, “Access for All” workshop, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 2007 Chair & Speaker, 11th International Conference on Transport & Mobility for Elderly & the Disabled, June, Montreal, Canada
  • 2006 Resource person, International Workshop on Implementing Accessibility Regulations, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 2006 Panelist, 2nd International Conference for Universal Design, Kyoto, Japan
  • 2006 Guest Lecturer, Municipal Lifelong Learning Centre, Osaka, Japan
  • 2004 Speaker, 10th International Conference on Transport & Mobility for Elderly & the Disabled, Hamamatsu, Japan
  • 2002 Resource Person, UNESCAP training on Non-Handicapping Environment for Persons with Disabilities, Bangkok, Thailand
  • 2000 Contributed in the Bali Declaration on accessible tourism for persons with disabilities and
    elderly, Bali, Indonesia


Master Trainer for Training of Trainers(ToT) Course:

(For Promotion of Non-Handicapping Barrier Free Environment & Creation of Resource Pool Of Access Auditors)

  • 2016 Master Trainer, Accessible India Camping, CPWD Training Academy, Ghaziabad
  • 2016 Master Trainer, Accessible India, Sight Savers
  • 2016-ongoing Universal Design Training Workshops in 10 states of India for civil engineers, architects
  • 2011-13 Formation & strengthening of Access Co-ordination Cells
    In 9 states of India and in Sri Lanka
  • 2011-13 State Commissioners for PwDs, Odisha and Jharkhand
  • 2010 Unnati at Ahmadabad
  • 2009 Voluntary Services Overseas
  • 2009 National Trust, M/o SJE and BITS Mesra
  • 2009 Dept of Social Welfare and O/o Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities NCTD
  • 2009 CBM
  • 2008 Action Aid International and Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
  • 2005-07 Post-Tsunami reconstruction work in Port Blair & Rangat, Andaman Island.
  • 2005-07 Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities
    (Statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India)
    Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Chandigarh (Union Territory) and Raipur (Chhattisgarh).Around 300 participants from 14 States with diverse backgrounds including architects, engineers and urban planners and NGO’s were trained on importance of BFE and practical field visit i.e. access audit and report presentation.
  • 2004-07 Post Earthquake reconstruction work in Ahmadabad, Baroda and Bhuj, Gujarat
  • 2006-12 Department of Social Welfare (DSW), Government of Goa
  • 2003-04 Rehabilitation Council of India
    (Statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India
  • 2002-04 O/o the Chief Commissioner for PwDs: Hyderabad, Guwahati, Delhi
  • 2004 National Seminar on PwDs and Elderly, Kolkata (West Bengal


Resource person/organizer of Training Workshops:

(Disability Awareness/Experiential Exercise)

  • 2014-16 Government of Odisha, Jharkhand, Goa, West Bengal, Delhi, and Chattisgarh
  • 2011-13 Government of Odisha, Jharkhand, Goa, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, among others
  • 2011 Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India
  • 2010 Central Public Works Department, Architects and Engineers, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India Centre for Science & Environment- Government officers, Urban Planners and Engineers
  • 2009 CPWD, Architects and Engineers, Ghaziabad IGNOU, Delhi Non-teaching Staff and Security Guards Voluntary Services Overseas, New Delhi
    Christopher Blind Mission (CBM), Bangalore, Deepshikha NGO, BIT Mesra & Service providers, Ranchi School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi
  • 2008 New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC): Architects and Engineers, Delhi Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi: Transport Planners, Professors and Researchers Engineering Department, University of Delhi
    CPWD, Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee
  • 2006-07 Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), Delhi, Scientists, Researchers, Academicians, Transport, Town & Urban Planners.
  • 2005-06 School of Planning and Architecture (SPA)- Delhi, 2 workshops for faculty and Students of Transport Planning, Architecture and Industrial Design.
  • 2004-07 National Institute for Design (NID), School of Interior Designers (CEPT), College of Architecture; Baroda & Ahmadabad; Gujarat
  • 2003 Roshni NGO, Gwalior Five workshops for Auto rickshaw/three wheeler drivers (Badge Training) – with State Transport Authority, Burari, Delhi and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus drivers



  • 2016 Authored, Guidelines on Health Services and Facilities for Women with Disabilities, SMRC & USAID
  • 2016 Co-Authored Harmonized Guidelines And Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for Persons with Disabilities and Elderly Persons, Ministry of Urban Development, GoI
  • 2015 Authored “Training Manual to promote Universal Design- Training of Trainers on Access Audits”, Third Edition, published by Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)
  • 2015 Handbook Air Travel: Sensitization and Training, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India
  • 2015 Practitioner’s Manual on Inclusive WASH: Schools and Public Spaces, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India
  • 2014 Co-authored School Audit Toolkit, UNICEF
  • 2014 Co-authored Universal Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian, Non-motorised Vehicles and Public Transportation
  • 2014 Guidelines on Barrier free Environment for Children with Disabilities in Schools
  • 2014 Guidelines on Universal Design in Hospitals & Residential Facilities
  • 2013 Universal Design Toolkit on Public Transit Systems: Facilities & Services
  • 2012 Co-authored Universal Signage & Way Finding Design Guidelines
  • 2012 Co-authored IRC: 103 Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities for Indian Roads Congress
  • 2012 Co-authored UTTIPEC Street Design Guidelines for Government of NCT Delhi, India
  • 2012 Access Advocacy Toolkit for VSO India, DFID and CBM
  • 2009 “Training Manual to promote Universal Design”, Second Edition, published by Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)
  • 2008 Authored first edition of “Training Manual to promote Barrier Free Environment- Guidelines for Training of Trainers”, published by RCI
    2008 Technical Brochures on “Right of Way” & “Traffic Police & Hum Tum” for Professionals, Administrators and Planners published by National Trust, MSJE, Government of India
  • 2007 “Access ABCD”- Authored Booklet on Barrier Free Environment, in Internal Design Considerations for persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities published by for National Trust
  • 2006 Authored chapters in “Work Book for In-service Teachers”, on Barrier Free Environment in Inclusive School published by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
  • 2005 Authored chapter in “Handbook of Inclusive Education for Educators, Administrators and Planners”, published by SAGE Publications; New Delhi/Thousand Oaks/London.
  • 2004- 15 Technical Brochures on “Access for All” and “Internal & External Design Considerations”, for Professionals, Administrators and Planners, published by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India; VSO, CBM, FICCI SEDF and Handicap International



  • 2016 Lead Researcher, Urban Roads Manual, Indian Roads Congress
  • 2015 Rapid Desk Based Research, DFID, UK
  • 2014 Universal Accessibility in Pedestrian, Non Motorised Vehicles and Public Transport Infrastructure
  • 2013 WASH Facilities for Persons with Disabilities in Jharkhand, India
  • 2011-12 Anthropometric study of mobility aid users: India specific
  • 2010 Accessibility Research and Comparative Analysis of Building Standards & regulations (Building Bye-Laws) in various states of India
  • 2009-12 “Research study on IRC: 103-1988 -Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities for Indian Road Congress”
  • 2010 Action Oriented Research Project on Community Accessibility & Inclusion Audit
  • 2008 “Research on Right of Way in Road & Street Infrastructure for Persons with Severe Disabilities”
  • 2006-07 “Road Safety Aspects and Street Infrastructure for Persons with disabilities and Elderly” with implementation strategies for 1 km area in Central Delhi
  • 2006-07 “Research & Design for making of Braille Registration plates and Audio Meters in Auto Rickshaws”
  • 2006 “Implementation of user-friendly Public Transport Systems (Bus & bus Shelters) in Delhi”
  • 2005 “Promotion of user-friendly Public Transport Systems (Bus & bus shelters) in India” 2005 “Accessibility of Indian Railways”



  • Bachelor of Science, University of Delhi
  • Post Graduation in Human Rights, University of Netherlands

Download : Anjlee Agarwal CV (191KB, PDF)