Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is the first state in the country to create basic infrastructure and amenities for the disabled in tourism centres, thereby setting itself as a role model for others, said Minister for Tourism, Kadakampally Surendran, on Saturday.

Speaking after unveiling the new initiatives of Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society (T.E.P.S) at a function here, the Minister unveiled a Braille Brochure on the attractive spots at Thenmala and a video brochure in sign language.

Surendran also launched the refurbished website of Thenmala ecotourism.  Besides, the Minister unveiled ‘Buddha Mayuri Corner’ set up at Butterfly Safari at Thenmala that gives information on host and nectar plants  regarding  state’s butterfly ‘Buddha Mayuri’, a guiding mobile application on android platform, and description boards about deer species, to be put up at Deer Rehabilitation Centre, Ottakkal, Thenmala.

“So far over 100 tourism centres in the state have been equipped with disabled-friendly facilities. It’s the objective of the Tourism Directorate to make all the tourism centres disabled-friendly,” the Minister added.

Noting that Thenmala is the first planned ecotourism destination in the country, he also unveiled the Thenmala holiday tour package by handing over a copy of it to P Bala Kiran, Director, Kerala Tourism.  K. Muraleedharan MLA presided over the function. Pramod P P, Director of Ecotourism, Government of Kerala, welcomed the gathering.

In his address, P Bala Kiran said the Tourism Minister will inaugurate disabled- friendly infrastructure facilities set up in over 100 tourism centres on March 4. “The facilities include ramps, wheel-chairs and toilets. It took eight months to complete the project,” he added.

The 16-page Braille Brochure was prepared by Government School for the Visually Impaired, Vazhuthacaud. The four minutes and 35 seconds video brochure in sign language was created with the help of Government VHSS for the Deaf, Jagathy. These are the first-of-its-kind brochure and video in the tourism sector in the country.

The trial version of the mobile application with GPS navigation facility offers essential information for visitors coming from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Sengottai. It also consists of brief descriptions about attractive spots and natural resources on the way to Thenmala. The guiding navigation application of the T.E.P.S is developed by Palakkad-based Mobiz Innovations and Research Pvt. Ltd.

T.E.P.S will be renovating the children’s park, pathways, toilets and entrance at the Deer Rehabilitation Centre at Ottakkal, Thenmala. A booklet about the details of the deer is also on the anvil.

By Manoj

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