The Ghana Blind Union (GBU) has appealed to the general public, especially corporate Ghana, to support it to secure white canes for its members to facilitate their movement.
According to the Chairman of the Advocacy Committee of the union, Mr Daniel Oppong Lartey, the white cane helps members to perform basic tasks without the assistance of other persons, thus ensuring their independence.
Speaking at a press conference to commemorate the World White Cane Day, Mr Oppong Lartey said the white cane had proved to be a reliable guide and was the first step towards practical social inclusion.
“The phenomenon of social inclusion depicts a high level of independence on the part of the person with visual impairment. It is only when the dependency syndrome is broken or greatly reduced that blind and partially sighted individuals will display confidence as full members of their communities,” he said.
Mr Lartey further stated that blind and partially sighted persons must be supported to access facilities and services to enable them to contribute their quota to the development of the nation.
White canes imported
The Executive Officer of the GBU, Dr Peter Obeng-Asamoah, said white canes were not produced in the country, hence making it impossible for many blind persons to own one.
He said the Union bought the white canes for $16 each and sold to its members at GH¢30 cedis per a cane, adding that though the GBU had tried to subsidise the price, the depreciation of the cedi was making it impossible for it to maintain the current price.
According to him, the celebration would be held across all regions to educate Ghanaians on the importance of the white cane.
Dr Obeng-Asamoah also said October was also used to mobilise support to acquire more white canes.
He added that the white canes that the GBU acquired were donated to blind persons who could not afford it.
The members of GBU also called on non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders to help revamp the White Cane Project as the white cane could be produced in Ghana at a cheaper price, while creating employment at the same time.
They also said though they began to produce the white cane in the country, it could not be sustained due to lack of funding.
A visually impaired social worker, Abdul Razak Yessif, said it was important for motorists to remember to stop if they saw someone with a white cane crossing a road.
Source: Daily Graphic
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