News & Notes 691:“Accessible Auroville” Meeting with Puducherry Governor Kiran Bedi
“Accessible Auroville” Meeting with Puducherry Governor Kiran Bedi
On 10th March 2017 at 5 pm I met the Puducherry Governor Kiran Bedi. It was a friendly and warmly meeting. We both agreed with converting Pondicherry to be more Accessible to All.
We talked about some cooperation between “Accessible Auroville” and the Puducherry Government to reach this aim.
I talked to her about the “Accessible Auroville Public Bus” – She was very curious and asked if it was possible to see it. The bus was already parked nearby; the driver was looking forward to receiving my call to drive inside the Governor's palace (but first we had to wait for the last visitor to leave the palace). While I was waiting some policemen and attendants questioned me about accessibility, helping aging people etc. how to raise awareness as they want to do something about it. It was very encouraging to see them so interested in this topic!
Finally the “Accessible Auroville Public Bus” was allowed to enter into the garden of the Governor’s Palace!
She was very impressed by the platform lift installed at the rear of the bus. I explained Her how it worked in order to make the bus Accessible to All: two doors have been installed at the back in a body shop in Karur where buses can be modified according to their needs, she was very focused when listening to me, whereas the platform lift, coming from Italy (In India it is not available yet), was fixed by differently able workers in a factory situated in the countryside nearby Chennai.
She wanted to see how the platform lift works…In order to give Her a demonstration I invited her to get on it already down on the ground thanks to the bus driver who had pressed the button to make it so. She hesitated a little bit, finally holding my hand we both got on the bus, standing on the platform lift. We enjoyed going up and down…At the end, she stated that she would consult “Accessible Auroville” about this kind of issue.
It has been an honor to have the opportunity to meet the Puducherry Governor Kiran Bedi! She is really a great woman indeed! I am sure that she will work out how to create an inclusive society where everybody can lead on a normal life with dignity and freedom.
Let us hope that it will happen in Auroville as well very soon, especially in the vision of its 50 years!