Accessibility January 22, 2020
Greater Chennai Corporation promises 2 new disabled-friendly parks
Santhome in Chennai has an exclusive sensory and disabled friendly park for children with disabilities. It was started a year back. After its successful launch, the Greater Chennai Corporation is gearing up to start two more disabled friendly parks in the city. Experts from the community says that this is a great move. But it is also high time that officials make all parks sensory and disabled friendly which is inclusion in its true sense.
The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) is all set to introduce two exclusive sensory parks for disabled children in the city. This has been welcomed by parents and experts from the community. But they are demanding that all parks must be made disabled friendly with sensory facilities. That is inclusion in its true sense.
A successful sensory park at Santhome
The sensory park at Santhome was inaugurated a year ago under the Centre’s Smart City Program. The park received a lot of applause from officials and members from the disabled community.
The park has ramps, sensory pathways, disabled friendly play areas and equipment. It is spread over 1500 sq.m keeping in mind needs of children with all kinds of disabilities.
“We have floated tenders and would start the project in a few months for new parks. There has been a positive response about the facilities at the sensory park in Santhome”, an official has been quoted saying to the Times of India.
Introduction of two new parks
Reportedly, the two new parks will be set up at Sakthi Nagar at Valsaravakkam and Kottur Garden near Adyar. An estimate of Rs 3.5 crore will be spent on the parks. Officials hope to bring more facilities for disabled children in the new parks.
An outdoor gym will be set up for adults. The park premises will be planted with lots of trees. Swings, merry-go rounds and slides which can be used by disabled children will be introduced. Reportedly, there will also be a wheelchair friendly basketball court so that children can play to their hearts fill.
Response from experts
CK Mano Ranjani from Chennai has a son with autism. Ranjani believes that inclusion happens when all the children’s parks across Chennai are made disabled friendly.
“I don’t believe in making just a few parks disabled friendly. All the parks must be made accessible for children with disabilities. Only some small changes needs to be made. I take my son to regular parks and he has a great time there. Sensory parks are a great idea. But not all parents can travel long distances to take their children to those parks”, says Ranjani.
Subhashini Rao, Founder, Sankalp Special School in Chennai says, “This is indeed a great thing that the GCC has come up with something like this. Parents will have an exclusive place to take their children with disabilities. They can also mingle and interact with other parents. I believe parents are now taking their disabled children to regular parks because society is becoming more aware of needs and requirements of disabled people”.
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