More than 1,800 local people, including the blind and the visually impaired, participated in the 27th Mayor’s Cup, observing the International White Cane Day in Yangon on 15 October.
The event started at 6 am when Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe shot up the starter’s gun. A total of 1,821 people including 1,345 blind and visually impaired people and 476 helpers from 28 groups, including Myanmar Christian Fellowship of the Blind and the School for the Blind (Sagaing), participated in the International White Cane Day event.
“People know about us by participating in this kind of activity. So, I am very happy. In the past, people regarded us as pathetic and they would not want to see us. But now, people are encouraging us, regardless of whatever we are. That’s why I want to say thank you to all of you. According to 2014 census, there are about 1,240,000 blind and visually impaired people living in Myanmar. Therefore, I want to urge that if you see blind people, please help them,” said U Saw Thaung Kyi from Khawai Chan School for the Blind.
Beginning from City Hall, over 1,800 participants walked along the Sule Pagoda Road and then turned to Merchant Street, then turned to Mahabandoola Road along which they walked all the way back to the City Hall near Sule Pagoda.
Yangon Region Hluttaw Vice Chairman U Lin Naing Myint, Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe, Yangon Region government ministers and Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) members participated together with the blind and the visually impaired people. YCDC members, religious association members and social association members, company staff and the general public cheered them along the way and presented snow towels and handkerchiefs.
Then, Yangon Mayor delivered a speech in honor of the participants and presented the trophy and gifts to the schools for the blind. After that, the schools for the blind performed entertainment programs.
The event aims at supporting the disabled and promoting the awareness of the needs of the disabled, particularly those affected with blindness and visibility impairments. The event has been held in Yangon annually since 1992.