Staff Reporter

The firm is offering programmes for the physically challenged

Kochi: Keltron, which ushered in electronic revolution in the State much before the IT wave swept Kerala, is into a new sphere of action that has been left almost untouched.

From attempting to evolve the attitude of the people to a friendly mode for the physically challenged to offering new training programmes for them to come up in life, the public sector unit is creating a new social revolution.

Though the legislations insist that all public spaces including shops, hotels, restaurants and theatres and work places should be accessible to the physically challenged, in reality, the law is yet to be implemented in its true spirit.

The issue came to the fore at a five star hotel in the city sometime ago, which hosted an international conference of the physically challenged persons.

The delegates had a tough time moving up to the conference venue on their own, as there were steps in the patio of the hotel and no ramps along which the wheelchair-bound delegates could move, remembers C.P. Somasekharan, coordinator of the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Keltron.

It was also the case with a hotel at Vyttila near the national highway.

As the delegates took up the issue with the managements of the hotels, they yielded and ramps were later made at the hotels for the physically challenged, he remembers.

Mr. Somasekharan laments that society is yet to fully take note of the difficulties faced by the physically challenged, especially those who have been disabled due to accidents.

"Imagine the plight of a physically challenged person who has to get down at Ravipuram junction.

He cannot get off the bus as a normal person can do. He needs ramps, wheel chair to move about... . Unfortunately, most of these facilities are not available here," says Mr. Somasekharan.

Keltron Controls, Aroor, is into the job of giving proper plan for an obstacle-free environment, which includes public places and individual homes. The job involves modification of the environment of the physically challenged person, arranging vocational rehabilitation and even suitable placements.

Come February, Keltron will start the vocational training programme for 90 select persons. Training programmes for maintenance of wheelchairs and accessories in fabrication and ancillary shops, units making special footwear for the physically challenged and diabetics and computer are in the offing.

Plans are also afoot to find placements for the trained hands as the Central Government has reserved seats for these sections, explained Mr. Somasekharan.