The Government Museum is gearing up to receive more differently-abled visitors with a host of amenities for them set to come up in the next few months on its sprawling campus in Egmore.
From more ramps with hand railings near the galleries to elevators to tactile flooring to modified toilets, work on a few of the proposed facilities to make the museum more disabled-friendly has already begun. A public address system is also to be installed. Around 3.5 lakh people visit the Museum's various galleries annually, entry to which is by way of tickets. At least 50 per cent of them are children. The Museum is also a sought-after destination for school excursions.
“We want to make this an inclusive museum and one for all,” said S.S. Jawahar, Commissioner of Museums. A sculptor garden designed is the new addition at the museum, where visitors get to touch and feel each of the artefacts. A pillar excavated from Anantapur district, sculpture of Vishnu, Nandi, Durga and Lion, all sourced from across the country are some of the exhibits in the garden. A few exhibits at the Geology sections are also the touch and feel type.
The touch and feel garden is expected to attract the visually challenged visitors. It would be of great interest to the school students and the museum should have more of such facilities, think school heads.
“We frequent the Touch and Smell Park at Taramani for our school picnics as this is the only place where children get a feel of things around as well as explore,” said Deepika Srinivasan, teacher for deafblind children at Clarke School for the Deaf. She says that it is always a challenge to find places for the visually challenged.
“Not all visually challenged children have access to Braille, so having audio systems will be helpful. We will also like to have interpreters for the deaf to explain us about exhibits in the museum,” she adds.