Friday, 15 February 2013

Heaven help us all!

I had, in an earlier post, mentioned that my brother was in poor health. As we went along an oft-used road to the hospital, I was preoccupied with the domestic medical crisis. To cheer me up, my wife mentioned that the pavement on the road we were going on - one of the main thoroughfares in Channai - had an impressively wide pavement, which is not the case only too often in our cities, so I looked out the window for at least some cheerful input. Although she was right about the size of the pavements, I could not help but noitce some obstacles  for a potential wheel-chair user, and which I paused to click with my phone camera the next day when I went the same route:

Hawkers hogging the pavement with their wares

A bumpy ride for a wheel-chair, and a definite hazard for the visibility impaired

Stone seat in middle of pavement

Sand and bricks dumped to occupy entire pavement;, thereby forcing a wheelchair  to climb down and up a 1.5 foot pavement

Our well-intentioned legislations will serve no purpose until and unless there is seriously strict enforcement: for instance, somebody who (a) dumps stuff in the middle of a road or (b) parks any vehicle in front of a ramp or ( c) drives through a red light or (d) drives drunk- must have the book thrown at him : stiff fine at first violation, stiffer one such as revoking of driving license at the second, and a really stiff, eg. imprisonment, at the third.

Coming back to the hospital visit, some four or five of us huddled in the unhappy atmosphere next to an ICU for a while and then some one suggested that we might move to the canteen to drink a cup that cheers. This is where I got my next batch of ammunition for this blog. In order to go from the ICU to the canteen, you have to come down the ramp, and walk along the building a bit. Now there were cars parked everywhere in such a way that the only way my wheelchair could go there was to go back onto the main road (with cars typically zipping along at 80 kmph) and come back around the parked cars on the side road braving such transport as may choose to fly by, typically honking away at the `obstruction my wheel-chair created'. There was a sort of a ramp leading up to the canteen; and this is what the bottom and top of the ramp looked like:

Notice abrupt end to ramp at the bottom (if you can, in spite of the poor quality of the photograph)

One more step after a sharp right turn, if you managed to navigate past the milk containers in the way.

Surely people building a hospital should exhibit more common sense and consideration! Might an out-patient not need a restorative after having finished undergoing whatever she came to have fixed? It will take only a miniscule amount of cement, or a make-shift wooden ramp that any carpenter can whip up in no time, to solve these last two problems!

Only the will to be rendered accessible is needed.

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