For the visually impaired
All the new sidewalks that are being constructed in Kathmandu these days show a series of distinctly colored yellow tiles running through the middle of them. It made me wonder what they were. At a point I even started cursing the government in my head, assuming that the tiles were simply objects of decoration, another case of redundant expenditure so characteristic of public projects.
When I saw a group of workers digging along the middle of sidewalk passing in front of my college, I was certain that they were in the process adding those same yellow tiles. It was too much for me, and found myself agitated every time I walked the sidewalk.
Coincidentally, I was surfing the internet one day when I recalled those yellow tiles. On Google I typed ‘Odd yellow tiles on the sidewalk’. Instantly trusty Google displayed answers on the screen. I felt a fat smile form on my face as I read. Immediately I was praising Nepalese policymakers.
The yellow tiles were being laid as part of tactile paving, a special paving used as warning indicator for people who are blind or have partial visual impairment. The tiles come with a distinct texture which the blind people can feel via their cane or shoes and that way they could follow the sidewalk with ease. But this is not the only purpose tactile paving serves.
I also learned that Japan was the pioneer in introucing tactile paving and that the tiles are used as early warning mechanism as well. Change in the texture of the tiles would suggest things like turning ahead, stairs ahead, slope ahead, crossing ahead etc. The primary purpose although remains a medium of directional guidance. In addition, there is a clever reason for coloring the tiles yellow: a distinct yellow would create contrast from the sidewalk so those with partial blindness could see distinguish it.
This was very rejuvenating revelation for me. I am seriously pleased with the government for taking commendable initiative to ease commute for people with visual imparment. I suggest the concerned authority to add tactile paving at all places in the urban centers.
The problem of not cutting trees
A forest is a renewable crop, and just like agriculture, one could harvest old trees and then nurture new seedlings to come in the forest floor and grow into a mature forest again (of course subject to environmental limits which can be established through some methods of assessments and planning). But why doesn’t this simple wisdom prevail in Nepal’s forest governance and management circles?
Dr Hemant R Ojha
From Mecca to Baijanathpur
The year 2016 belongs to one Nepali cricketer in particular – Sandeep Lamichhane. The year saw him grow from a boy to a man. His magical leg-spin bowling during the U19 World Cup was praised by some of the greats of world cricket, even drawing comparison to the spin-legend Shane Warne.
ECHO supporting for 'Open Defecation Free Nepal'
Realising the current situation and aiming to combat the problems of community people, ECHO has come forward as one of the key players to support the people in this VDC along with others so that they regain their ‘honor’ and the government of Nepal succeed in its mega plan ‘open defecation free Nepal’.
Hem Raja - Hotel de l' Annapurna
Somebody nudges me. I wake up and look up with bleary eyes at Mr. Shahdev SSJB Rana holding my uniform blazer in his right hand. Had my skin been white, I would have turned cherry red with a mixture of fear and shame at being caught so red-handed. And that too by the person who was second in position in the hotel food chain, only below Princess Helen Shah herself. Before I could blurt anything out at my Managing Director, he whispers, “Lamichhane, next time I will not give this blazer back for you to wear.”
Menstrual taboo outdated
I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.
Physicians are humans too!
To err is human. People make mistakes. Clinicians are no exception. But as soon as a patient or a person enters a doctor’s room, he or she forgets that the doctor too is a human being and expects too much from him or her.