My picnic to Bannerghatta National Park, Bengaluru, Karnataka India

 A travelogue by C. Mahesh:

 

Inspired by the Animal Adoption Drive kicked off by Anil Kumble, we had been to Bannerghatta National Park last Sunday (08th Aug 2010), with family and children. It was also an opportunity for me to relive my childhood memories. This time I was using a wheelchair.

Bannerghatta_Tiger.jpg 

I was appalled by the total inaccessibility to all the facilities and services at the National Park. The bus stand and car park is more than a kilometer away from the main gate; all the routes outside and inside the park are extremely bumpy.

 

Noise and chaos reigns supreme. The honking vehicles, noisy and smoky generators in the wayside shops, disorderly crowd rushing to the ticket, safari, food and animal enclosures. I felt that this place was no different from Kalaysipalyam Bus Stand in City Market. I pity the animals that have no choice but to endure this torture all their lives in the National Park.

 

To reach the animal enclosures, seating area, drinking water and food counters one has to balance and cross-over rough granite slabs that act as culvers. Incidentally it started to rain and I had to fend for myself under the tree as I could reach any of the shelters. The sign boards are totally inadequate. The public toilet in the park is situated on top of a mini hillock and you need trekking skills to reach the place. What happens to those who cannot climb? You can guess.

 

I missed the Butterfly Park, Reptile Park and the Safari too. All I can remember of my 'picnic' is being rooted under a tree near the main gate waiting to go back home.

 

The Bannerghatta National Park is one of the places of pride of Bengaluru, Karnataka and the Nation, it features prominently in the tourism map of the country. Unfortunately this place is totally insensitive to the needs of children, persons with disabilities and senior citizens.

 

I had been to the Mysore Zoo earlier this year, this place I must say, has transformed. The zoo is clean, well maintained with neatly laid cobbled stones, there is a battery operated vehicle that takes you around and is being used by persons who find it difficult to walk.

 

 

Is it not the responsibility of the authorities to periodically improve on basic need/ requirements of allits visitors and the animals? The stone culverts have been there for years and have not moved a millimeter. Do we lack the knowledge, skill or resources? Is it disinterest? When it can happen in Mysore Zoo, why not at Bannerghatta?

 

Will the authorities Act, if I file a complain with the Commissioner Disabilities for violating Chapter VIII - Non-Discrimination, Section 46 of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 or with the City Corporation for violating the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike - Building bye-laws - Part IV - Schedule XI - Bye-law 31 - "Facilities For Physically Handicapped Persons" of if I quote "India has signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" based on which a New Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is being drafted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

 

I leave it to the readers to decide...

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

C. Mahesh

 

--

C. Mahesh

Advocacy Coordinator

CBR Forum

14, CK Garden, St. Thomas Town Post

Wheeler Road Extension

Bangalore - 560 084

Tel - 080- 2549 7387 or 2549 7388

advocacy.cbrforum@gmail.com

admin@cbrforum.in

www.cbrforum.in


Recent Entries

Don't Miss These Books on Inclusive Tourism
They are not available yet but watch for:Accessible Tourism: International Best Practiceby Dimitrios Buhalis - Simon Darcy -  Ivor…
In-Depth Coverage of Travel with a Disability by Candy Harrington
http://www.dotcr.ost.dot.gov/asp/airacc.aspIt is often wise to head straight to Candy Harrington's site Barrier-Free Travels when the superficial coverage given to issues if…
TRANSED to be Hosted in India by Svayam: September 17-21, 2012
Svayam, an initiative of S.J.Charitable Trust, India is proud to announce that TRANSED 2012, the 13th International Conference on Mobility…
Futureproofing with Universal Design
If you don't build with Universal Design from the start at least build thinking of it as a possible future…
Inclusion in Tourism: Time to Decide
New Zealand held its Inaugural Access Tourism Conference recognising the significance of the growing accessible tourism market.The Auckland University of…
"Authenticity" requires Accessibility
The following comes from Ethical Traveler. We were pleased to see Kerala's kettuvalam's included but note that their deck plans…
WC on Wheels: The Universal Design for Better Living Trailer
A grant from the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs is appearing at shows and fairs across Iowa and beyond.…
Reframing Your Travel Expectations: Imagine Your Condition as a Two-Year Old Child - By Liz Hamill Scott
To RollingRains.com readers from travel author Liz Hamill Scott:Last week I read Scott's posts and comments on universal design, the…