Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Inclusive governance

One of the new things I noticed today on the new 10 pound note is that it can braille script on it too.  That's very noble indeed. So anyone, even the ones without sight can easily identify the currency they have or are handed.  The fiver is polymer and small.  The tenner has the script and is polymer. The twenty pound note is still paper and longer than the ten pound polymer.  (Know not of the 50, since I've never seen one). 

That reminds me of an information board at Winchester cathedral.  There is a small garden tucked and almost hidden beside the cathedral, marking the place where once stood the dormitory for the seminarians/monks.  The garden is dedicated to the memory of the dean of the Cathedral and hence named the Dean Garnier Garden. The garden itself was no very spectacular or special (at least in March when I saw it), but what struck me was the information boards therein.  One was in English the other was in Braille.  The first thought that came to my mind was 'what's the point?'  'What would one describe a blind about the garden?' But soon it struck me, 'Why not?'  After all, it was about the historical significance of the place.  So why should a visually challenged person be deprived of knowing that bit of history.  Then I said to myself, even if it was about the beauty of the garden why shouldn't it be in braille!  I really chastised myself for the immediate thought. 
The garden is on the right, through those arches
It is such things as these that make society inclusive, that makes everyone, especially those disadvantaged and those pushed to the margins feel part of, have a sense of belonging.  These braille boards, access routes for wheelchairs on maps, access points at stations, parking lots marked 'disabled', even pavements for easy navigation (even those special slabs marking the slopes), and the other amenities offered for the disadvantaged are truly praiseworthy.  It goes to show the society cares.  That we do not discriminate someone merely for some physical deformity and let things be difficult for them, because it would be "too much" to think of, by "normal" people. 

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