Moved by the harrowing experience of Virali Modi, while using the services of the Indian Railways, Central Railway Station of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala has come up with an innovative idea that will surely bring a smile on the faces of physically challenged people.
Central Railway Station of Thiruvananthapuram has become the first station in the country to introduce a wheelchair facility and ramp for the physically challenged people based on an official order from Southern Railways.
Virali Modi has been a paraplegic since she was 14 years old. She issued a petition of making railways differently-abled friendly. She said that she had been groped and manhandled three separate times by porters when they were helping her board the train as the Indian trains are not accessible to wheelchairs. Her petition has gathered a support of nearly 10,00,000 people, and this was brought to notice of Southern Railways by a former Divisional Railway Manager Sunil Bajpai.
The Southern Railways were very prompt to work out a solution to provide a dignified access to the less privileged.
An official letter was released on February 20 by Chief Commercial Manager Ajeet Saxena to procure portable ramps and foldable wheelchair to be put to use from 1 March.
The normal width of a wheelchair is 24 inches, but the railways are providing two foldable wheelchairs of which one has a width of 22 inches, and other has 17 inches.
The Southern Railways also has ensured the presence of lady staff to oversee the assistance of the porters. The facility cost Rs 65 and can be used making a prior request.
The Logical Indian welcome this innovative step taken by the Southern Railways and hope that the government expedites the process to help lakhs of differently abled people travel more comfortably
Read more: One Woman’s Fight To Make Railways Differently-abled Friendly Gets Recognised By Ministry