Some 12 million visually challenged persons in the country will be able to see the nation’s Tricolour. This, thanks to the initiative taken by an eye hospital and NGO working for betterment of the visually impaired.
Sankara Eye Hospital, in partnership with Sightsavers, introduced the first Braille Indian flag on Thursday. The tactile flag was unveiled by governor HR Bhardwaj.
The flag colours are depicted through varying textures and a raised chakra at its centre allows the visually challenged to feel the Ashoka Chakra with its 24 spokes. Its colours and features are explained in Braille alongside the flag.
The Braille flag is a fully tactile graphic made on copper with enamelled paint accompanied with a user key that helps the visually impaired make out the orientation and colours. Only the US and UK are known to have national flags that are accessible to the blind.
Dr RV Ramani, founder and managing trustee, Sankara Eye Care Institutions India, said, “It is unfortunate that something as important as the national flag is inaccessible to the blind. We focus on preventive eye care for the children through our paediatric programme Nanna Kannu. At the same time we believe that the blind should get equal access to rights and services as their sighted counterparts . This tactile flag is one of the steps towards this.”
The governor inaugurated an exhibition ‘Through Different Eyes’ . It is aimed at spreading the message that visual impairment can be overcome. The exhibition showcased photographs taken by 14 children whose vision was restored owing to the efforts of Sightsavers and Sankara Eye Hospital. These children were introduced to the nuances of digital photography in workshops conducted last year.