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Make All Things Accessible For All Ghanaians.

Tue, 8 Mar 2011 Source: Balami, Edward

Happiness is not always found in the

money or wealth one has, but, the environment within which one founds himself,

living in a discrimination free society gives one joy and happiness. Some are accepted,

while others are rejected not by words but by our actions meanwhile, we claim

to be one people with one identity.

The 41st World Standards

Day celebrations theme “Accessibility for All With International

Standards”, must have a deep impact on all Ghanaians. It’s high time we

replace selfishness with selflessness, we are all equally important but it

seems like in everything we do as a nation, attention is given to the

physically fit persons much to the neglect of the physically challenged

persons, we most at times don’t mull over the products we do to see the number

of people who can reach, enter, maneuver

and use which has always been their

wish.

Although after fifty-three years of

independence, there have been some infrastructural developments but it is

always meant for a certain group of people. Article 29(6) of the 1992

republican constitution of Ghana says, “As far as practicable, every place to which

the public have

access shall have appropriate facilities for disabled persons.” How many buses

brought into the country make

available in them spaces to cater for the disabled? How many vans brought into

the country when converting them for commercial purposes makes provisions for

people with disabilities? How many public buildings have elevators in them? In

addition, those that have in them, how many of them are operable? Are they to

see all these things but not have access to them? Are the teaching and learning

materials in their schools adequate to enable them achieving their dreams? The

questions

could go on and on.

Recently, the Black Challengers nearly

missed an opportunity that came their way to compete with their counterparts in

Argentina but if had been the other way, funds would have been made available

to them as soon as possible. Is there any difference between the right ear of a

horse, and the left ear of the same horse? Are they to remain on beggars and

not earners and givers? Apparently, there are many talents and potentials in them,

which need to be tapped and developed so they in turn give back to the society

and not to always, take from the society.

As we try to develop all facets of our country, let us not deny them

their rights. We need to give attention

to most especially the physically challenged, the aged and all people with

special needs so they can feel at home. You may not cherish a certain part of

your body, but do not be in a haste to forget that without that part of your

body, the rest cannot function accurately. Discrimination does not build a

nation. Let us all build to live a good legacy for generations yet unborn.

EDWARD BALAMI

Ghana Institute of

Journalism.

ebalamiingh@hotmail.com

Columnist: Balami, Edward