Now, differently-abled passengers will not face any problem in getting a lower berth in Third AC coaches as the Indian Railways has fixed quota for ‘Divyangs’ in 3AC of mail and express trains to make the journey hassle-free. Currently, there is a provision for lower berth quota in sleeper class only.
A lower berth in 3AC coach will be reserved for ‘Divyangs’ in trains and the necessary software is being readied for this, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The railway move comes close on the heels of an incident in which a wheelchair-bound athlete faced difficulty in securing a lower berth. Alloted an upper berth, Subarna Raj, the medal winning para-athlete, could not get a lower berth in the Nagpur-Nizamuddin Garib Rath express and had to sleep on the floor of the train.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had ordered an inquiry into the incident and instructed corrective measures so that this does not happen again. The 3AC quota facility for ‘Divyangs’ will be announced by railways this week.
In order to facilitate smooth entry into platforms, all stations are being made accessible for differently-abled passengers. While waiting halls have Divyang-friendly toilets, many coaches have signage system in braille for visually-challenged passengers.