Chennai

COVID-19: Exclusive helpdesk for those with vision impairment sought

Though there are initiatives by various groups to help the differently-abled, such a provision by the commissionerate for persons with disabilities will be useful to us, says Chennai-based forum for the visually-impaired

The visually-impaired, particularly those who are on their own in these times, and lack any immediate support system, are likely to find getting essential items more of a challenge than the general population might.

Of course, the Corporation has put out a list of stores selling essentials that would deliver purchased items at the residents’ doorstep. Similarly, there are groups that watch out for the differently-abled (but many of these are localised in their operations).

Voluntary organisations working for the welfare of the visually-impaired, Nethrodaya in Mogappair and All-India Blind Progressive Association in Mandaveli, are helping out underprivileged visually-impaired persons by distributing bags of essential groceries to them.

Despite these initiatives and resources to turn to, many a time things don’t work out smoothly. Resident of West Mambalam S. Balambal (54) who is visually-impaired, recently placed an order for can water, and was told by the shopkeeper that she would have to come and get the can herself, as delivery boys weren’t around. Now, to get around these practical problems, she has temporarily moved to her relative’s house.

J. Annapoorani, a resident of East Tambaram, narrates the ordeal of locating a new grocery shop as the one she visits regularly was closed.

“People were a bit hesitant to offer me help in identifying the items in the racks. As many necessary things were not available, I had to hunt for other stores, I could not find any help while crossing the road,” says Annapoorani, whose spouse is also visually-impaired.

Taking these problems into consideration, the Visually-Impaired Women’s Association, a forum based in Kundrathur, has made a representation to the Commissionerate for the Welfare of the Differently-abled seeking a helpdesk exclusively for the visually-impaired.

“We have requested the Commissionerate to ensure that the orders we place at grocery stores and pharmacies are delivered at our homes. It is hard to find a helping hand and it is also not proper on our part to expect other residents to help in this hour,” says P. Aruna Devi, a member of the association.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 4:56:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/covid-19-exclusive-helpdesk-for-those-with-vision-impairment-sought/article31254621.ece

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