COIMBATORE: The smart white canes distributed by the state government
for blind people were of little use in the city roads, say
beneficiaries..In 2016,
the state government distributed smart canes that guide the users in
identifying obstacles within 3km of radius and alert the users using
ultrasonic sensors
with vibrations...Though the smart canes were distributed in a few
districts including
Dharmapuri
and
Tiruvannamalai
 since 2016, officials in Coimbatore district started distributing the
canes only a couple of months ago. Only a few hundred beneficiaries
have received
the canes so far...“The state government has been ensuring to give the
canes only to those who are either working or doing business,” said
T Sadasivam,
coordinator of
National Federation of Blind
 (NFB). Only after submitting the proof of employment, they would be
entitled to get the cane, he said, adding that the beneficiaries were
entitled to
get equipment assistance once in three years..
Recommended By Colombia.Most of the beneficiaries are using the smart
cane like an ordinary one as they miss the vibrating signals in the
current city
traffic congestions, he said...“We don’t know when the canes would run
out of battery as sensors would function only for three hours despite
charging it
for more than seven hours,” said S
Shanmugam,
a beneficiary from the
Tamil Nadu Association
 for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers
(TNRATDAC)...“The cane vibrates when there is an obstacle. But we
don’t know how big the
obstacle is and in which direction it is located and how far it is
from us,” he said, explaining that the cane would vibrate even the
obstacle is a stone
or a vehicle...The cane has two switches – one for enabling vibration
and the other to enable sound – but the sound switch does not work in
any of canes,
Shanmugam said adding that that there was no description on how to use
it, even, in the catalogue book...
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/smart-white-canes-are-of-little-use-on-city-roads-say-users/articleshow/63738475.cms

-- 
Avinash Shahi
Doctoral student at Centre for Law and Governance JNU




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