Steps like introduction of braille enabled coaches & facility of online booking of wheelchairs is a welcome step, means that the Government is thinking about the mobility reduced populace.
However much needs to done at the basic level. Tactile guiding blocks and warning blocks are missing which need to be placed to guide the visually impaired find their way around at the railway station so even though there will be brail marking on the coaches and seats (we hope the seat numbers are included) this alone will not suffice.
The website is still inaccessible to the visually impaired so as a first step even the website IRCTC needs to be made accessible. Most railway stations still do not have accessible access to platforms, between platforms and to coaches.
Public conveniences like accessible toilets are missing so while it's good that Railway Minister is focussing on bio toilets & cleanliness, perhaps he would also focus on providing accessible toilets in the train & on platforms.
There's a lack of visual signage at the platforms which is a deterrent for the hearing impaired.
It's a good step to allow online booking of wheelchairs but what about those who are using their own wheelchair or cannot use wheelchairs? Shouldn't part of the redevelopment fund also focus on making the railway platforms and coaches completely accessible so that anyone without help perhaps can use this means of mass transportation.
Railway is the mode of transport for the masses and hopefully someday it will become truly inclusive.
So when the Railway Minister is assessing redevelopment and revamp of all railway platforms, we urge that he will also incorporate accessibility features in his plans.