“Communication skills of visually challenged persons are much better in comparison to normal persons, said Shri Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Chevella Constituency while flagging off the “Walk for Accessibility and Inclusion” at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on Sunday 15th October 2017.
The Hon’ble MP further stated, “My aunty who was also visually challenged built the first hostel for girls who were visually challenged in Hyderabad and it was one of the first in Asia.” He also made a mention of UoH receiving the award in 2016 for the best institution in the country for being more accessible to persons with disabilities.
Shri Vishweshwar Reddy also said that the gear box of the Hero Honda motorcycles, the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers in the world is assembled by visually challenged persons in India. This is a major achievement for our Country, he added. Both he and Prof. Appa Rao Podile, Vice-Chancellor, UoH flagged off the walk from the Zakir Hussain Lecture Hall Complex to the Savitribai Phule (formerly DST) Auditorium.
Many of the students of UoH took part in the walk with blind-folds to have a firsthand feel of how visually challenged persons face difficulty in navigating while walking.
Rangareddy Thoutireddy, a visually challenged student of MA-Economics at UoH who has organised this event says, “We would like our friends in the campus to be sensitive to the needs of the differently abled persons”. “This event aims at sensitizing the student fraternity by raising awareness about the needs and issues of the differently abled. It also highlights the need for physical, informational and service accessibility and adoption of inclusive attitudes, policies and practices”, he added.
Later a website was launched by the differently abled students forum called the Association for Inclusive Development (UoH) which will help volunteers to register for being scribes for visually and differently abled students for examinations. A digital database English – Telugu Directory was also launched on this occasion.
Prof. P Prakash Babu, Pro Vice-Chancellor; Prof. Venkata Rao, Dean, School of Social Sciences; Prof. Debashish Acharya, Dean Students’ Welfare; Prof. S Rajagopal, Chairman for Empowered Committee for Differently Abled Persons; Dr. Annavaram and other officials participated.
This event saw many students of the University from all over the country, coming together and participating with enthusiasm and high spirits.