MADURAI : A group of visually challenged persons spread road safety awareness, especially for people like them, as part of World White Cane Day observation in the city on Wednesday.
The Indian Association for the Blind (IAB), in collaboration with a few organisations, conducted the event that saw a rally from Race Course to Tamukkam.
Visually challenged people with the help of volunteers crossed the road at zebra crossings at regular intervals at Goripalayam and Periyar bus stand junctions to create awareness.
In 1969, the United Nations recognised the white canes and announced October 15 as World White Cane Day, said S Seeni Rabeek Raja, a visually challenged music graduate.
“The white canes are helpful in leading normal lives. They give us confidence. They help us know what is ahead, like drains, ridges or pits, dogs and even platform shops,” said S Roshan (14), Class 9 student of IAB.
Rabeek said many of them had collections of white canes like people have gold ornaments. Nowadays canes are available with advanced technologies like sensors, which create vibrations to communicate obstacles ahead and with GPS, he added.
While explaining more about the event, S Rajkumar, an English teacher of IAB, said awareness about the visually challenged among people has increased but they still have to struggle to get equal rights in all walks of life. For instance, in many schools visually challenged children are dropped once they complete Class 10 because the school wants to maintain a high pass percentage.
White Cane Day was observed to recognise the visually challenged and the work done by them. Though the literate section of the society is aware of them, the message should reach the masses. Many of them are still unaware of the help and guidance they can provide to the visually challenged, said Rabeek.