Brightening the Future of the Blind


World Sight Day falls on October 13 this year. Penang Monthly takes a look at Persatuan Tongkat Putih, an association that is working hard to help the visually impaired.

The white cane has long been a symbol for blind pedestrians. In fact, it wasn’t always white, but the cane as such is the trusty companion of many a visually impaired itinerant.

 It was in 1921 that James Biggs, an English photographer who became blind after an accident, thought of painting his walking stick white to make it more visible to motorists.

It took a while before the white cane established its social role as a signal for blind person walking. In February 1931 a national white stick movement for blind people began in France. This led to a similar scheme in the United Kingdom, sponsored by rotary clubs.

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