Provide wheelchair-friendly loos at Orchard MRT
I RECENTLY helped push a wheelchair-bound elderly woman from the Orchard MRT concourse to the nearest disabled-friendly toilet at a shopping centre.
The route from the concourse - past 14 shops and along a long, narrow passage - to the toilet was an "obstacle course", especially when packed with people.
The woman recounted an incident when she went to a "handicapped toilet", only to find a narrow cubicle inaccessible to a wheelchair. She ended up answering nature's call using a container in the public area of the toilet, in full view of everyone queueing up.
Orchard MRT station is a major transport hub. While wheelchair-bound people do not make up the majority of visitors to Orchard Road, they too have a right to visit the area with the full assurance that should there be a need to use the toilet facilities, they can do so in privacy and with dignity.
Currently, Orchard MRT station lacks a handicapped toilet, and those at nearby shopping centres are either inadequate, too far away or on different levels from the MRT concourse.
Can the relevant authorities look into this problem and explore what can be done to resolve it, not only at the Orchard MRT area but also islandwide?
They can consider enacting laws that require building owners to have at least one toilet accessible to wheelchair users at each level.
These measures may seem costly. However, a measure of a great society is in how well it takes care of its weaker members.
Sok Mun Wunder (Mrs)