Supreme-court order on accessibility
- This supreme court order is a recognition of the NEED to take action, with more war victims in society.
- However, we should not fail to note the disconnect between the ground reality and the legislation.
- The legislation refers esp. to Toilets. Even for the non-handicapped, most toilets even in Colombo public places are hell holes unusable except by those who are made of steel.
- Most homes (not public places) do not put in ramps unless needed. Also people deal with it simply by
carrying the invalid person, in the 'palanquin' tradition. That is the culturally appropriate Sri Lankan solution to the
problem of physically challenged people.
- The supreme court order makes no mention of public transport, the need for pavements and smoothed curbs etc. THE LEGISLATION is in fact in ADVANCE OF THE NORMS OF OUR CURRENT SOCIETY IN SRI LANKA.
- However, this legislation can, and NEED TO BE respected by commercial buildings like tourist hotels, banks, supermarkets etc., and we note that THIS IS ALREADY HAPPENING.