Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

Monday, March 16, 2009

Provide all facilities to disabled: NGO

As we observe the World Disabled Day today - 15th March, a survey conducted by the Human Rights Law Network at the city railway station comes as a shocker. The survey team found porters and coolies charging exorbitant sums from the disabled to carry them to the train on wheelchairs. At times they were extremely rude and even refused to take the disabled on wheelchairs if an argument ensued, the team found.

Lawyer JPS Uppal, city co-ordinator for HRNL, a branch of India Centre for Human Rights and Law (ICHRL), who conducted the survey along with his team at the station, was critical of the way the disabled were treated. He said, "Additional solicitor general Rajendra Raghuvanshi had told the Bombay high court that the Centre would try to make all railway stations disabled-friendly. The assurance had come in response to a public interest litigation filed by ICHRL, seeking implementation of Disability Act, 1995 at the railway stations. But Nagpur station does not have such facilities in place," Uppal said.

"The disabled are entitled to same rights as all other human beings and must have equal access to all public places, facilities, opportunities and services. As per the 1995 act for disabled, all public transports and public places like railway stations, airports and building complexes should have special facilities for disabled. Not providing these facilities amounts to discrimination,"
said Uppal.

Citing a personal experience, Uppal said he himself had to convince a coolie to charge suitable amount for taking his relative to a particular platform. "Such incidents could be avoided if the railway administration displays porter charges on all the platforms or where the wheelchairs are kept," he said. This would save the disabled from discomfiture, he said.

Central Railway PRO Suhas Lohkare, however, did not accept all the findings to be true. He said that the toilet on platform number 1 was locked for repairs. "We try our best to keep wheelchairs in good condition. But the people use them roughly and dump them at wrong places. The railway gets all these chairs repaired on a day's notice. Besides, two spare chairs have also been made available in case of an emergency," Lohkare said.

He assured to look into the issue and also welcomed the efforts put in by the NGO for helping the railway administration provide better facilities to passengers.


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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