Railways should be disabled friendly

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The travel industry is waking up to disabled travellers’ special needs by providing more services and greater accommodation to them. Meanwhile, the sheer abundance of information on accessible travel is astounding — much of it generated by disabled travellers themselves. The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees that travellers with disabilities receive equal treatment under the law. While this would be the case in a perfect world, it does not always work out that way in real life, especially in foreign countries where accessibility regulations vary widely. Despite having common sense, considerable public sentiment and strength in numbers, travellers with disabilities frequently face inadequate facilities and prejudice. In India, we should upgrade the facilities extended to differently-abled persons and senior citizens also in the best way possible.

The following tips and resources will help disabled travellers and their companions anticipate some of the snags of accessible travel. If disabled are not enabled to travel comfortably, then it is a shame on us, our country and our existence. Differently abled people are reluctant to travel in trains because they feel like being manhandled by grown up men.

Ask the disabled about the discomforts that they undergo while travelling by trains. The Railways now have a very progressive look and lots of new changes are being made to make travel disabled friendly. They should sit up, take notice and introduce special bogies and modify stations and platforms suitably.

The facilities provided by Railways for such differently-abled people in India are pathetic to say the least. A questionnaire should be placed in every seat pocket and the need for the differently abled people is to be ascertained and proper facilities needs to be offered to them without wasting time.

Rugmini Chitra

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)