As part of the Kerala government’s Barrier Free Tourism
Project, many public places have been made accessible by installation
of wheelchair ramps and Braille signage.
The latest to join the list is Munambam Beach in Ernakulam
district. Shortly, or so authorities claim, wheelchair users can enjoy the
breeze and chill out with family and friends at this beautiful beach.
A couple of days ago, District Collector K Mohammad Safirula
and other officials reviewed the progress and they are said to be happy with
Anjurani Joy, an entrepreneur, singer and actor, says she
can finally go to the beach on her wheelchair.
There were times when I wanted to go but could never do it due to lack of
accessibility. A few months ago, I went to a beach in Alappuzha. I had to
sit in the car at the main road. I could not even see the waters because of
high walls. So, my father had to lift me and take me all the way to the
beach. If the beach has wheelchair ramps, then more people can enjoy
visiting them. – Anjurani Joy, Wheelchair user
Currently, the installation of wheelchair ramps is going on. A ramp, 10
metres long and two metres wide ramp, will be set up and this will be opened
to the public. This ramp will take wheelchair users to the shore of Munambam
beach where the famous Periyar River meets the sea.
Mohammed Rabeeh is a part of the Idam
project that aims to make Tirur, a small town in Kerala, accessible
“There are many disabled people who have not yet seen a beach just because
these places are inaccessible. This project will help them come out of the
four walls of their homes”, says Rabeeh.
This new project of making Munambam Beach accessible is supported by
ESAF, UN Habitat Global Public Space Programme, District Tourism
Promotion Council and Livable Cities India. Recently, officials had
made Alappuzha beach disabled-friendly by installing ramps. They had even
promised Braille signage for visually impaired tourists. These new
initiatives by Kerala government will definitely be a blessing to disabled
tourists who visit God’s own country
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