Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Key messages conveyed during the observation of International White Cane Safety Day 2019

Group photo of visually impaired persons in Thimphu participating in a public awareness walk

As a visually impaired person, I have realized that one of the biggest challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Bhutan today is the lack of accessibility. The public infrastructures such as banks, hospitals, shopping complexes and other public offices are not as accessible and inclusive as they should be. Besides, the public spaces are also not safe enough for us to walk independently. The open drains without covers or fences, high sidewalks without guardrails, steep staircases without handrails and uneven footpaths/stairs are some of the barriers that continue to pose a danger to our safety in the towns. Yet nobody seems to be concerned. On the roads, the situation is worse for us. The motorists hardly care to slow down or stop their cars to let pedestrians with disabilities to walk across. If we don’t try to break these barriers today, the community of persons with disabilities will continue to remain behind the wall, disconnected from the mainstream society. This was the key message I and my visually impaired friends conveyed during the observation of International White Cane Safety Day in Thimphu on 15th October 2019.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Swimming Pool Junction on Doebum Lam highway in Thimphu should probably have speed-breakers to reduce chances for frequent accidents at the intersection

Since the day the 4-lane Doebum Lam highway in Thimphu was opened to traffic in 2008, the intersection at the Swimming Pool junction has seen numerous accidents over the years. The ever increasing traffic congestion coupled with reckless driving has made this part of the highway one of the most dangerous traffic hotspots in Thimphu. Despite stringent traffic rules and regulations in place, we still continue to see so many crazy drivers on the road.