Friday, August 8, 2014

A metro ride turns into a nightmare

The Hindu, 29 July 2014, Delhi

Wheelchair without footrest at Metro station
Dr. Satendra Singh, a polio survivor and assistant professor of Physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital was in for a rude shock when he decided to take a ride in the Delhi Metro.

The doctor, who was travelling from the Vaishali metro station to Rohini East this past Sunday, first found that reserved parking for differently-abled persons at Vaishali was occupied by cars which did not have the right to park there.

His ordeal, however, had just begun. After getting into a rather crowded metro, the doctor was forced to stand throughout his journey to the Kashmere Gate metro station (where he had to change his train) because none of his co-passengers got up to offer him the seat reserved for differently-abled persons.

“At Kashmere Gate, I decided to ask for and use a wheelchair as my journey was long and I was already exhausted. I approached the metro staff at the counter with my request and was given a wheel chair with no foot rest. I pointed the obvious lapse to the supervisor at the counter telling him that the wheelchair cannot be used as my feet would drag on the ground. After complaining the wheel chair was replaced,’’ said the doctor, who is also an RTI activist.

Mr. Singh added that though the supervisor at the metro station did make an entry about the use of a wheel chair, no assistance was provided to help him in registering his protest or suggestion.

“While the metro official did note down my phone number, name and destination, he just turned away when I asked him to help me with registering my complaint with customer care. I later did call up the metro helpline, which informed me about the various facilities offered to differently-abled persons on the Delhi Metro including priority parking close to the station,” said Dr. Singh.

Demanding a more hands-on approach to help differently-abled persons travel with ease, Dr. Singh said: “Adequate parking facilities, help by the general public to give reserved seats, proper maintenance of wheel chairs and prompt registration and redress of complaints would go a long way in ensuring a stress-free travel. This should be provided as a matter of right to differently-abled persons travelling on the Metro.”

Source: Hindu

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