In a bid to make the railway stations more friendly to differently-abled, the Jan Kalyan Society distributed 20 wheelchairs to the Thiruvananthapuram division on Tuesday.
The wheelchairs were handed over to Divisional Railway Manager Rajesh Agarwal by District Collector P I Sheikh Pareeth. The wheel chairs will later be handed down to station managers and masters across 18 railway stations under the division. Currently, the Ernakulam Junction Station has four wheel chairs. At the inauguration, Rajesh Agarwal said the Railways was a customer service organisation and is striving to meet the expectations of the public. “We are also planning to start a special reservation counter for the differently-abled in stations which don’t have the facility.
These people require special care and we also hope to join hands with the district administration to meet the needs of the commuters soon,” Agarwal added. District Collector Sheikh Pareeth said more efforts were needed to help the differently-abled. The help of organisations such as the Jan Kalyan Society has to be encouraged, he added. Jan Kalyan Society chairman Pradeep Maheshwari and Railway Ernakulam Area Manager P L Ashok Kumar were also present. Meanwhile, programmes to sensitise the needs of visually-challenged and the differently-abled were held at the station.
A team of volunteers were blindfolded and taken in and around the premises of the station to give them the feel of the difficulties faced by the differently-abled who arrive at the stations.
After the programme, feedbacks were collected from the staff to identify the issues of the differently-abled. New proposals from the staff were also accepted.