‘Ramp Up, Rise Up’ campaign goes to State House |22 November 2023
- President takes on wheel-chair challenge
By Sunny Esparon
President Wavel Ramkalawan yesterday took part in the wheelchair challenge dubbed ‘Ramp Up, Rise Up’.
The founder, Christine Winslow and her team, visited State House with her son Jason who is wheelchair-bound, and the director general for Elderly and Disabled, Rosa Morin.
The challenge to access the first floor of State House began with the President wheeling himself up a ramp, outside the building and going through halls and staircases to reach the bathroom on the upper floor.
In an interview with the press, the President stated the experience was very important to produce an empathetic approach in the shoes of someone disabled, or an elderly.
He noted the challenge showed there were some weaknesses and also what could be improved upon.
He cited the ramps as an example, noticing that it was too steep. “It should be a gentle slope,” he said.
Furthermore, he pointed out that accessing the toilet facilities was also of concern. However, a toilet with enough space for the required alterations has already been identified.
The President also spoke about the budget appropriation which makes provision for a project to install a lift at State House to allow people with special needs and the elderly to access higher floors of the building. “It will be a small lift, not the ones that will cost millions.” President Ramkalawan also commended Jason, who pushed the challenge, to be able to make government entities more conscious.
Speaking after the event, Mrs Winslow thanked the president for taking on the challenge. “It was really good to see that we have the president and the government on our side. Like the president said, it is not only for the President, it is for the disabled as well,” said Mrs Winslow. She welcomed the few adjustments that needed to be made regarding the ramps and plans for an elevator, along with the bathroom facilities.
For her part, Ms Morin said taking the challenge to State House raises awareness about the campaign and the division’s work and noted it was important for the Seychelles’ leader to take part, considering he has a busy schedule.
“We really appreciate his engagement towards the campaign and an inclusive Seychelles,” she stated.
Photos by Joena Meme