Taking cognisance of an online petition by a disabled woman, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday wrote to Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu requesting him to facilitate comfortable train travel for the disabled on a “mission mode”.
In her online petition which has now gone viral, Virali Modi, a disabled woman from Mumbai, has shared her travails while traveling by the railways.
“The railways treat the disabled as a piece of luggage. This needs to stop,” she said pointing out the problems including “groped by porters” during her railway journeys.
“I have seen a petition by Virali Modi. She says she has been facing a lot of problems during travel by rail and has pointed out various issues of accessibility at railway stations as well as trains for wheelchair-bound persons.
“The Ministry of Railways under the leadership of Suresh Prabhu ji has been conscious of this issue. However, keeping in view the desirability of facilitating comfortable travel for disabled persons, I am writing to Suresh Prabhu ji to request him to take up the required changes in mission mode,” said Gandhi.
Prabhu on February 9, too had reacted to Virali’s petition in a tweet saying he has taken note of it and while his Ministry was already working on making trains friendly for persons with disabilities, there was a lot more to be done. He had called for ideas to this effect.