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First in country: Garden for differently-abled comes up in Hoshangabad of MP

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Sravani Sarkar

Bhopal: The flowers are brightly coloured, smelling sweet. The waterfall gurgles and the bird chirp – exhilarating and soothing all your senses, whether they are fully functional or not.

Welcome to the special garden for differently able people at Hoshangabad city – about 70 km from here.

 The first of its kind garden in the country – called the ‘Divyang Park’ - is all ready to be opened to public with the first pre-monsoon shower.

The garden, developed on the campus of the Hoshangabad district hospital – is not only disabled friendly with totally barrier free atmosphere and Braille signage and information board, but also has several other special features.

The garden has been developed in such a way that all categories of differently able people – orthopaedically challenged, visually challenged, hearing and speech impaired as well as mentally challenged – would be able to enjoy the features of a normal garden.

“It has been developed on the concept of touch, smell, listen and look,” Hoshangabad district collector Sanket Bhondve, who is guiding force behind the garden, told

The garden is aimed at not only entertaining the differently able people, but also as a spot of therapy for them, he said.

So the garden has barrier free pathways, pebbled walk stretches, plants with bright colours and soothing scent, a waterfall and ambience for birds to settle and chirp.

“We are also planning to offer the persons with functional senses to experience the world of differently able people by moving through the garden with any of their senses muted. Like they may opt for a blindfold,” Bhondve said.

The garden has been developed with people’s participation with citizens chipping in with funds and voluntary work.

Last year, Bhondve got a national award for excellent work for rehabilitation and uplift of the differently abled.