Indian Railways have taken various measures to ensure welfare of Persons with Disability (Divyangjans) like grant of concessional fare facility to four categories of Persons with Disabilities (PwD).
- Online reserved concessional ticket booking facility, earmarking of reservation quota in Sleeper and 3AC classes, earmarking of separate reservation counters at important PRS locations, 25% quota in allotment of STD/ISD PCO booths at stations, provision of wheelchair, and Battery Operated Vehicles, introduction of Yatri Mitra Sewa, attachment of specially designed coaches known as SLRD (Second Class cum Luggage and Brake Van with Compartment for Divyangjan) & LSLRD coaches, provision of escalators, lifts, ramps, drinking water taps and toilets suitable for divyangjans, Braille sign indicators, standard ramp for barrier free entry, earmarking of parking lots, non-slippery walk-way from parking lot to building, signages of appropriate visibility, ‘May I help you’ Booth, etc.
- Indian Railways has already been facilitating a separate compartment earmarked for Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) in the last vehicle (SLRD) marshalled in almost all Mail/Express trains operating with Integral Coach Factory (ICF) coaches.
- These coaches have wider entrance doors, wider berths, wider compartments, larger lavatory and lavatory doors, wheelchair parking area, etc. Inside the toilets, additional grab rails on the side walls for support and wash basin and mirror at a suitable height are also available inside the toilets.
- In new design Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches, last vehicle LSLRD coaches have been designed and are being manufactured with the above features. These coaches are being proliferated gradually. Around 994 disabled friendly coaches (LSLRD/LDSLR/LDSLRA) have been manufactured till 30.06.22.
- Subject to operational feasibility and availability of such coaches, trains operating with ICF rakes have at least one PwD (Divyangjan) friendly coach. Further, subject to operational feasibility, Indian Railways, have also inducted PwD(Divyangjan) friendly LHB coaches, which are being attached in most of the trains operating with LHB rakes, except premium services like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, AC Express services including Tejas Express. Moreover, new design coaches such as LHB Air Conditioned Economy Coach (LWACCNE) are also being manufactured with at least one wider door out of two doors of the coach.
- Around 348 LWACCNE coaches have been manufactured till 30.06.22. Induction of PwD(Divyangjan) friendly coaches in trains is an ongoing process over Indian Railways subject to operational feasibility, availability of rolling stock etc.
- As regards, feedback, Indian Railways gets the suggestions/feedback from all categories of passengers including PwDs(Divyangjans) through various foras like portal of Department of Personnel and Public Grievances commonly known as PG Portal, Rail Madad, enquiry/complaint No.139. Based on the feedback received, remedial actions wherever found necessary and feasible, are taken.
- In the year 2015, a target was set to make A1, A & B category railway stations fully accessible to Persons with Disability (Divyangjans). Consequently, all 709 A-1, A&B category railway stations (erstwhile) have been provided with all facilities to make railway stations accessible for PwD (Divyangjan) such as ramps, reserved parking near entrance, accessible toilets, accessible drinking water facilities, accessible lifts, “May I help You” booths, signages etc.
- Improvement/augmentation of amenities including those for differently- abled passengers (Divyangjan) at railway stations is a continuous process.
Source: PIB -Press Release | Image Credit (representational): MoR