We all have seen how visually impaired people are projected in Bollywood films. Remember Naina from Lafangey Parindey or Zooni from Fanaa? Yes, these people do not want to burden others and want to do all their work by themselves, keeping aside their condition. They face hurdles and fall down but they get up, dust themselves and head on to accomplish what they had set out for.
Perhaps that is the reality. Blind people want to be confident. And so will they be!
To enable blind people achieve what they covet without having to depend on others, Dr. Rohan Paul from the Marico Innovation Foundation has invented a smart cane. The smart cane is a normal white cane fitted with a transmitter system which projects an ultrasonic beam. The beam gets reflected on touching any obstacle in front of it which gives an indication as to how much the distance from it is.
How does a blind person get this information?
The cane has patterns on the top – from where a person would hold it. These patterns vibrate as soon as they get a signal from the reflecting ultrasonic beam. Hence, the person becomes aware of any obstacle that they could bump into. The smart cane helps them find a “safe path” as they walk.
“When I hear several people say ‘he can definitely see something, he walks without colliding’ I get a very good feeling,” says Sunil Kumar who has been using the smart cane since two years now.
“It has improved my confidence a lot. It’s nice,” says another user, Bharti Kalra as she chuckles.
Watch the smart cane working in this video which is a part of a special series on innovations by Marico Innovation Foundation in association with The Better India and Black Ticket Films:
“So when you walk on the street and find somebody whom you don’t know… is using in their day to day lives, there’s nothing more beautiful than that.”- Dr. Paul.