Ernakulam junction installs special ramps, lounges for the physically challenged
In a most praise-worthy initiative, a small railway station in Kerala, the Ernakulam Junction, has installed disabled-friendly facilities such as special ramps, lounges along with other amenities that will allow citizens with disabilities to commute with ease.
The idea of making a disabled-friendly railway station was reportedly inspired by disability activist Virali Modi’s “#MyTrainToo” initiative that aimed at making train travel easy for individuals battling disabilities, reported The Logical Indian.
In addition to installing permanent ramps that will allow wheelchairs to move freely inside the station premises, the administration of Ernakulam Junction have also trained luggage porters on how to assist disabled passengers.
As part of the project, Ernakulam Junction has also promised electronic carts for porters to ferry disabled and elderly passengers to their trains along with disabled-friendly air-conditioned lounges and wheelchair-friendly washrooms within a period of six months. More importantly, the Ernakulam Junction has given charge of the project to the railways with an aim to implement the project in every other railway station in the state.
Mumbai-based disability activist Virali Modi, who can be credited as the brains behind this laudable initiative, is known for her contribution towards the differently-abled and was recently invited to Kerala to inaugurate Divyangjan Project by Mathrubhumi News. In a tweet sent out on February 9 of last year, the then Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu had responded to Modi’s request on social media website Twitter by saying that he had taken a note of her idea.
While speaking to the media, Virali said that despite approaching various politicians, so far no other state has implemented this kind of project for differently-abled people. “Even in Mumbai, I had witnessed only negative experience. I want these steps to be implemented all over India. It does not cost too much. I believe that If Mumbai goes for this initiative, all the states will follow the path and I hope they would do so,” she added.
While Trivandrum Central can be deemed as India’s first-disabled friendly railway station, Mysore station is reportedly the country’s first visually-impaired-friendly railway station.