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
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