Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bullet trains are desirable but disabled-friendly trains are NECESSITY

Hon'ble Minister of Railways, Executive Director (Public Grievances) and Divisional railways manager, Delhi division of Northern Railway

Thank you for conducting the enquiry in my case but I do not agree with few of the actions taken:

a) Non-availability of battery operated cars
My complaint was that two of the Railway employees lied to me that the battery car services has been stopped since one and half month. Your enquiry also confirms that these were functional so why these two lied to me and why your office did not take any action? Moreover, one of the driver of the battery car himself told me last month that IRCTC has three golf carts (1 at Nizamuddin & 2 at New Delhi). Why are these stationed and are not being used?

b) Availability of wheelchairs on payment basis
Your statement "it is not desirable that wheelchairs are operated by passengers themselves" shows the patriarchal attitude towards people with disabilities. Rather than worrying about us, please make your railway stations fully accessible first. A person on a wheelchair can move independently if the place is accessible, we don’t need ‘divine’ powers for that.

c) Availability of lifts for connectivity of platform
I am glad that the Railways accepted that they DO NOT have lifts for elderly and disabled to connect platforms at Delhi Sataion. Isn’t it ironical that the existing lift serves only railway employees & non-disabled people. It seems disabled have to again rely on their ‘divine’ powers to fly and reach platforms. Your report further states that ‘low booking counter have been already provided’. Please check again. No wheelchair user can reach out to the help desk on PF1 and ticket counter on PF16. Report also states that ‘subject to financial constraints these will be provided in near future’. Dear Sir, let me remind you that our PM launched Accessible India Campaign on 3rd Dec 2015. As mentioned in the strategy document, by July 2016, you have to convert 25% of railway stations into fully accessible. Delhi being capital should be the priority. I do not know whether you are aware or not but how will you do this by July 2016?

d) Inappropriate behavior of Sh Pawan Kumar TE
Thank you for issuing penalty charge sheet to the offending employee but I complained against the person at helpdesk who laughed at me (surely he can’t be TE) and the Station Supdtt Sh SS Goyal. Please double check that you have not targeted the wrong person just to do the formality. I did not complain against any TE.

e) Change in PF of Kashi Vishwanath Express
Glad you mentioned that I was correct but you rectified the mistake only after my complaint. For 20 full days, the display board was showing WRONG information and imagine how many elderly, disabled would have suffered because of this negligence.

Please also change your terminology from ‘differently-abled’ to ‘persons with disabilities’. Let me again reaffirm that we donot have any divya ang (divine body part) or extra ability by which we can fly. Accessibility is our basic human right and it is the right of the Govt to provide that to its citizens with disability. Bullet trains are desirable but disabled-friendly trains are NECESSITY. Period!

‪#‎Disability‬ ‪#‎LeaveNoManBehind‬ ‪#‎Inclusion‬ ‪#‎AccessibleIndiaCampaign‬ #SayNoToTermDivyang

This post is follow up of my earlier complaint:
Doctor with disability harassed at station (Hindu)

Storify: Insensitive Indian Railways