KARACHI: You may have seen physically impaired people struggling to move their tricycles around you. Their path towards empowerment is a painful journey, even with those tricycles.
For overcome these hurdles, the Network of Organisations Working for Persons with Disabilities, Pakistan, (NOWPDP) has launched its initiative called the ‘Accessible Cycle Design Challenge’ (ACDC) at an event on Wednesday.
According to NOWPDP president Amin Hashwani, this will be a nationwide challenge that started on January 1 and will continue till March 31. He said that the project aimed to identify the most accessible and affordable cycle design that can enhance the mobility of people with lower-limb impairments.
The first phase of the project will be of design development, in which, he said, engineering students from across the country will send them their designs and a panel of judges comprising faculty from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, and architect Shahid Abdulla will select the best design. The winner will be rewarded with Rs200,000.
The final cost, according to him, will emerge in the last stage. However, he said that it has been assured that the cost of production must not be above Rs10,000.
In the second stage, he said that the prototype of the project will be developed. The selected designer, according to him, will be involved with a team of expert architects and mechanical engineers to develop the prototype of the cycle. This team will be under the joint supervision of NOWPDP and Automobile Corporation of Pakistan, which is the design implementation partner for this challenge.
The final stage will be of market availability, said Hashwani. Once the prototype of the accessible and affordable cycle is developed, he said that NOWPDP will research on its market availability so that the tricycle can reach as many beneficiaries as possible.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2016.