Organizations working with training the blind or visually handicapped in mobility have criticized State institutions such as the Road Development Authority, the Ceylon Electricity Board and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board for their apathy with regard to the prevention of road construction-related accidents of which the blind are among the victims.
The Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind pointed out that while these institutions dig holes in roads during the day, they leave the pit and the areas around it unprotected, thereby causing falls, potentially life threatening disasters.
Principal of the School, Desmond Perera warned that roads in the country were not paved accordingly to allow for the safe passage of the blind.
Perera complained of the lack of education and awareness among the people with regard to practical issues faced by the blind during the course of their engagement in daily routines.
He proposed that a beeper system should be installed in traffic lights signals, at least in those found in the urban areas and said that people driving vehicles were not in the habit of giving the right of way to the blind.
“Everywhere in the world, the blind are trained to take care of their lives. They are trained to use a white cane,” he said.
He added that in other countries, if there was a handicapped child in a household, the government spends for the remodeling of the house in a manner in which they can go about.
“We are a third world country and therefore are lacking in funds, yet what we propose that should be done does not cost in millions. Why is the government and the people with the authority inconsiderate and uncompassionate. The department of Social Services and the Traffic Police must help,” he emphasized. RLJ