[AI] additional thoughts on mobility

Asudani, Rajesh rajeshasudani at rbi.org.in
Mon Sep 27 07:46:48 EDT 2010


Of course, willingness to keep control in our hands and be independent as ffar as possible is always admirable.
Jean's example of holding the arm/hand of the guiding person and not vice versa is really nice.
However, I have observed blind folks trying to substitute their judgment while navigating even crucial and perilous points like stopping or proceeding while crossing the road in preference to escort's judgment, which is uncalled for and must put the escort in the difficult position of dispensability and unwantedness to say the least and may endanger lives of both, the escort and blind person at worst.


-----Original Message-----
From: accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in [mailto:accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in] On Behalf Of mahendra
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2010 5:59 PM
To: accessindia at accessindia.org.in
Subject: Re: [AI] additional thoughts on mobility

but friends, Jeen is talking about willingness to be independent,
trying our own bit,so to   say!!

i don't remember Mahesh replying to all this points, raised by members.
correct me, if i have missed out something from Mahesh.


   At 10:56 AM 9/27/2010, you wrote:
>Coming back to mahesh's case, need for guiding in mobility by team
>members while in america, cannot be the denying factor, rather it
>has to be considered part of enabling environment at workplace.
>In other words, we cannot say that mahesh should go to US only
>if  he  has independent mobility skills.
>More often than not, being escorted by somebody makes us more safe
>and brings much needed convenience in life.
>
>So, Aisha, I request you to shed off your typically american
>attitude and consider the things Indian way.
>
>         Hats off to Jean for explaining the things so nicely.
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in
>[mailto:accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in] On Behalf Of Jean Parker
>Sent: Monday, September 27, 2010 2:31 PM
>To: accessindia at accessindia.org.in
>Subject: [AI] additional thoughts on mobility
>
>Further to my previous posting, here are some other things to consider.
>
>Many of you know that my work requires a lot of travel both inside
>India and to other parts of the world.  The fact is that I could not
>do my job if I lived in North America.  Why?  Because there is
>inadequate transport and I don't drive.  America is a country in
>love with its cars and the transport infrastructure reflects
>this.  Even in the largest cities on the east coast it would be
>difficult or impossible to do the kind of work I do because there is
>inadequate transport.
>
>America is set up for people who drive.  India on the other hand, is
>set up for people who don't drive.  Even with the increase in the
>amount of vehicles on the roads today, the infrastructure of trains,
>buses and rickshaws remains intact.  There is a culture of public
>transport.  Everyone uses it except the very wealthy.  In America
>most people who use public transport are the poor and those who have
>lost their driving license because of drunk driving.  Although in
>cities like New York, Boston and Washington this is not as much the
>case, there is no arguing the fact that America is geared to those who drive.
>
>So what does that mean in a practical sense?  In America where a
>blind person can live is limited by the availability of public
>transport unless they make a choice to ask others for rides all the
>time.  It means a blind person's work location is also limited by
>the availability of transport unless he wants to depend on
>co-workers or taxis which are extremely expensive.  It also means
>that a blind person's social life is limited by these same factors
>unless he is accompanied by a sighted friend or relative.  In most
>places in the US, using public transportation is not a viable option
>if one is seeking equality in the ability to move about in society.
>
>When a blind person in the west encounters some blind person from
>India or another developing country and that person has an assistant
>with them, some look upon this with scorn.  They observe that the
>blind person allows the assistant to make decisions for them and is
>not in control of how the assistant actually empowers that blind
>person to do his job more effectively.  But others look upon this
>with curiosity and some envy.  In America, one can not choose
>whether or not to travel with an assistant.  There are none.  One
>either does the thing himself or it doesn't get done at all.
>
>One advantage we have here is that we can choose whether or not to
>seek assistance and we can govern how that assistance is
>utilized.  We can be very creative about this.  Having a personal
>assistant is part of the culture.  It is not at all considered
>unusual to have one so if you're blind, you can have your driver or
>your assistant and it's considered normal.  Not so in America.
>
>If we choose to use it, we have a lot of autonomy here that is not
>available in the west.  If I have an appointment ten kilometers away
>for example and I either need or want to go there by myself, in
>India I go outside my building and get a rickshaw and go there.  In
>America I have two choices depending on where the appointment is.  I
>might be able to take several buses in which case I would have to
>plan ahead, figure out the schedules, find out if the bus goes
>anywhere close to the place I want to go, and perhaps spend several
>hours getting there and back.  Or, I can get a taxi which would cost
>an enormous amount of money.  Neither choice leads to
>equality.  People ask me all the time why I have remained in India
>as long as I have.  One of the biggest reasons is transport.
>
>There are also significant disadvantages in India that we all know
>about and there is no need to reiterate them here, perhaps the
>biggest exclusionary factor we all face is social exclusion and
>paternalism.  This is probably the root cause of most of the
>difficulties of blind people.  In America, things are in general but
>not always more advanced in this department.
>
>There are many other things that are more convenient here that are
>again, beyond the scope of this list.  All I want to say is that the
>matter is not as simple as it appears.
>
>Jean
>Voice your thoughts in the blog to discuss the Rights of persons
>with disability bill at:
>http://www.accessindia.org.in/harish/blog.htm
>
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with warm regards
        Mahendra Galani
window's live ID mahendragalani at hotmail.com       skype ID chintu3886
phone +4314943149 mobile +4369910366055,
address Herbst strasse 101.16.1 Vienna Austria Europe
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