BHUBANESWAR: The family members of Dilip Sahoo, a visually challenged vocalist who suffered multiple disabilities after being pushed on the tracks at Balasore railway station, are struggling to meet his medical expenses. The left leg and hand of Dilip had to be amputated after the July 4 accident.
Meanwhile, Odisha Association for the Blind has demanded a judicial probe into the mishap. The incident occurred due to gross negligence of Indian Railways, which has not provided barrier-free environment at most of the stations in Odisha to aid the movement of visually impaired persons, said Prasant Kumar Bhuyan, association president.
There are statutory provisions in the Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) Act 1995 and Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 for public authorities to ensure barrier free environment for easy movement of the PwDs, Bhuyan added.
Sahoo was pushed on the tracks by a thief who snatched his mobile phone in broad daylight. His treatment was delayed due to the negligence of Railway Protection Force and GRP personnel,” general secretary of the association Bihari Naik said at a press meet here on Wednesday.
The OAB has demanded Rs 20 lakh compensation and a job for Dilip in the railways. Dilip, a member of the Blind Association has undergone Telephone Operators’ training in Mumbai. He can also perform the duties of an ‘announcer’, the OAB members stated. The victim’s family had to run from pillar to post to get a bed for him at a multi-speciality hospital in the Capital. It was only after a four-hour ordeal that he managed to get a vacancy in a private medical college.
“The hospitals here did not pay heed to the plight of a PwD, who was in a serious condition and required urgent medical attention. Under what circumstances was he denied admission to hospitals which led to a further delay in his surgery,” the association members questioned. The association has submitted a memorandum to the State Government seeking financial help for Sahoo and also requested the private medical college to exempt his cost of treatment.