Noting that India was a signatory to the UN Convention on the rights of the disabled, Railway Minister Pawan Bansal Tuesday announced a number of measures to ease travel travails for them in trains and at stations.
The measures Bansal listed out in his maiden railway budget include escalators and elevators at major stations, Braille stickers to indicate layout of coaches including toilets, and making coaches wheel-chair friendly.
"We are conscious of our responsibility under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). To facilitate the boarding of trains and exit from the stations for the differently-abled and the elderly, we propose to include 179 escalators and 400 lifts at A-1 stations, affix Braille stickers indicating the layout of coaches including toilets, make provision of wheel chairs and battery operated vehicles at more stations and make coaches wheel-chair friendly," Bansal said.
To provide employment to the disabled, the railways will reserve a specified number of Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Sewak (JTBS) posts for them, keeping in view the fact that the PCOs at stations have become largely redundant after the mobile revolution in India.