[AI] Blindfolded, they Experienced Disability
shycurrim at yahoo.co.in
Thu Sep 9 11:16:12 EDT 2010
Blindfolded, they experienced disability
Published: Thursday, Sep 9, 2010, 2:22 IST
By Mihika Basu | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Imagine working, boarding a bus or even shopping blindfolded.
This is exactly what students and professionals experienced at a
organised by the Xavier's Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged
St Xavier's College on Wednesday.
The two-day event, Antarchakshu, focused on three aspects: education,
routine activities and accessible consumer products.
"No amount of lectures can make one understand ground realities. The
learning process is aimed at sensitising people about the lives of
the visually challenged
and will give people a deeper understanding of the problems faced,"
said Sam Taraporevala,
XRCVC director. From getting a taste of the hazards on our roads and
problems, to learning skills required for identifying, travelling and
bus, around 580 participants went through the experience blindfolded.
"Let alone the right infrastructure, we don't even have the right
disability in India. The workshop should make people aware of the
needs of disabled,"
said Arun Sehgal, visiting professor at the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute
Several participants said the best feature was the two BEST buses
which were stationed
inside the college. "I learnt how difficult it is for the visually
board our buses, let alone identify whether it's the correct one or
not," said Zeenat
Motiwala, student of the Bombay Teachers' Training College (Colaba).
Around 130 student volunteers guided the participants as they tried
to shop, walk
through hurdles, and assemble circuits, among other things. "Some
nervous and insecure since they couldn't see anything," said Henna
Khemani, a student-guide.
Ravi Thakur, a visually challenged Xavier's alumni, said the target
year was not just students, but professionals, academicians and
challenged professionals from various fields de-briefed the
should realise that we are equally capable," said Thakur, who works
with the National
Association for the Blind.
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