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Bangkok - big Mango

21.11.2008 tags [ press-mess | bangkok ]

This is what all Bangkok governor candidates must do before trying to sell us any of their fancy ideas on improving the Big Mango.

Day one: Wear a cast to immobilise one of your legs, use crutches to walk, then go to work or do your errands.

Day two: Try to do the same thing in a wheelchair and see how far you can go from your place.

Day three: Cover your eyes with a mask, or wear a pair of thick spectacles to blur your view. Grab a cane, and walk on Bangkok's notorious footpaths for at least three kilometres.

Day four: When hungry, eat only at food stalls in wet markets. To relieve yourself, do so only in toilets at temples, wet markets, state hospitals or bus and train stations.

Day five: Pedal your bicycle to the Bangkok Post for an interview on how you would make Bangkok friendlier for people of all ages, including those with special physical needs and for health- and environment-conscious cyclists.

Today, one out of every 10 Thais is over 60. The number will be two out of 10 just 15 years from now. The majority in Thailand's greying society will be women. Yet, there is little sign from the city administration to make Bangkok friendlier to the elderly, particularly the grandmas.

According to Asst Prof Trairat Jarutach, the Thai Gerontology Research and Development Institute recently did a survey to see how safe and user-friendly Bangkok buildings and public spaces are for the elderly. The result is distressing.

Government buildings passed only one criteria: the door.

pinched from BKK-Post 21.11.08