Seeks directions for RBI to makes changes in coins and notes so that blind persons can identify them easily

Mumbai: A public interest litigation (PIL) raising concerns over the difficulties faced by blind persons in identifying notes and coins has been filed in the Bombay High Court.

Joaquim Rapose, secretary of the National Association for Blind (NAB), has filed the PIL and sought directions for Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make changes in the coins and notes, so that blind persons can identify them easily.

In his petition, Rapose has stated that blind persons have started facing difficulties in identifying notes and coins of various denominations in the recent years.

“Earlier, blind or low vision person were easily able to identify coins and notes as there were unique marks on each coin; some coins were raised/embossed and tactile differentiation was available for recognition of the coins,” the petition reads.

Rapose has stated that the coins of various denominations and notes of Rs 100 and Rs 500 have no different identification marks, which can help blind persons in differentiating them.

The petition also states that RBI had sent a request in a written form and asked NAB to give a feedback over the new shapes of coins and notes.

In response to the request, Rapose claims to have sent a detailed suggestion about the shape of the coins and notes along with their broadness, thickness and colour combination. He has also stated that he had pointed out that there is not much difference between the notes of Rs 100 and Rs 500, similarly in case of coins, he had pointed out that the coins of Rs 2, Re 1 and that of 50 paise, hardly have any differentiation.

“There should be coins having proper borders, different designs, shapes, different textures for avoiding confusion,” Rapose suggested.

However, Rapose has alleged that despite his suggestions given to RBI, last year, nothing has been done yet to protect the right of the blind and low vision persons.

Rapose has also stated that due to the new coins and notes, NAB, which teaches blind and low vision persons to identify the notes and coins, now faces difficulties.

The petition has sought directions to the respondents to spell out the steps they have taken till date to protect the rights of blind persons.

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