Back to: Kerala Board Class 11th English Guide and Notes
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Differently-abled children are an integral part of our society. Often, the daily charms of a regular life are denied to them. Technology extends a helping hand and acts as a leveller in such cases. This story reveals the human face of technology in helping a young girl shape the world around her.
Greta- a differently-abled child
Greta’s mom and dad– Greta’s parents
Joel– Greta’s eleven-year-old brother
The Street on the Internet
The man’s wife and son were not interested at all when he told them about the site on the Internet where you could create whole streets. But his daughter Greta was curious about it. Greta was a special child. She often repeated whatever she heard. She had struggled to tie her shoes by age ten and could read only at fifth-grade level, even though she was sixteen. She went to a special school.
She said she wanted to see the street with bowls of fruits in the houses. Her father said he would show her. Greta sat in his chair, and he sat next to her. Greta could type very slowly. When she left her school, she would hopefully be able to type fast enough to get a word processing job.
Greta’s father said that a guy named Sam from Illinois had created a place on the internet with a library of classics. He was about to show Greta this collection of books but she said she wanted peaches and pears and artichokes. He asked her if she wanted them in a house, with bowls in a kitchen, or maybe in a garden. He then created a street called Greta’s Street, a house called Greta’s House.
Greta’s House with Peaches
Greta looked at the screen. She had blonde hair and blue eyes. Greta wanted a bowl in every room and peaches in the kitchen and living room and all the bedrooms. The bowls would be blue in colour. There would be eleven windows covered with sheer white curtains like the ones Greta had in her bedroom.
Greta asked where the peaches were. Her dad told her to just click the bowl. Greta clicked the bowl and the word peaches appeared. She said it was just a word. She had thought they could make real peaches. Her dad said these words reminded them of what they stood for, just like in books.
He created other rooms, asking Greta what she wanted. She wanted a kitchen, a dining room, a living room, a bedroom, a room for a cat, and no bathrooms because it wasn’t a real house, so people wouldn’t use it. Her dad programmed bowls of peaches in every room. Greta clicked and smiled when the word peaches appeared.
Soon, Greta went away to help her mom in the garden. Greta would never have a house of her own. She would live in a group house with other people like her. Her dad hoped the house would be large and have sheer white curtains. He hoped it would have an orchard with fruit to put in real blue bowls: apples, pears, peaches- whatever Greta wanted.
This story shows us how technology can benefit differently-abled people. Creating the house on the street on the Internet helps Greta get a semblance of the life she will never have. Therefore, technology and the internet have opened various frontiers that can be accessed by various kinds of people. This promotes inclusivity.