Earlier it used to be quite discriminatory that all passengers were able to book their railway tickets online sitting in the comfort of their couch while PwDs needed to go to ticket window physically for getting a ticket. But now things have changed and you can see an option for booking a ticket under handicapped quota online when you login to the IRCTC website.
At first glance, it looks quite relaxing that we don’t have to put extra effort for booking a train ticket for the reason that we are persons with disabilities. But as soon as you click on the check-box on that reads “I’ll book in special concession (Physically handicapped and Journalist Passengers)” , a dialogue box will appear.
The dialogue box tells that if you book a concessional ticket you need to carry a photo identity card issued by the Railways. The escort or attendant too needs to carry a photo identity card mentioned at the time of booking. This dialogue box can create a lot of confusion and it is quite possible you’ll go back and book a general ticket despite having disability. If it was simply a photo identity card there would not be any confusion because we all carry our Aadhar Card with us.
This article is intended to give you the valuable information about the photo identity card issued by the Railways including the procedure to obtain it and where to find the required form.
Who is Eligible to Get Railways Photo Identity Card?
For the purpose of granting photo identity card, the Railways has divided persons with disabilities into four categories.
- Orthopedically handicapped person who cannot travel without an escort or assistance.
- Mentally retarded persons who need an escort.
- Completely blind persons traveling alone or with an escort.
- Totally deaf and mute person (with both afflictions together).
In addition to these four broad categories, the concession is also allowed to persons with certain ailments.
- Cancer patients
- Heart patient
- Non-infectious leprosy patients
- Thalsamia major patients
- T.B. patients
- Kidney patients
- Haemophilia patients
- Aplastic anaemia patients
- Sickle-cell anaemia patients
The given forms should be certified by a government doctor with sign and seal. You need to paste a recent color photograph of yourself that would be attested by the doctor. Getting the certification from a government doctor though is not enough to be eligible to book concessional tickets under handicapped quota; this is just the first step.
Procedure for obtaining and using a valid photo identity card for Railways
Approach the nearest D.R.M office
You need to visit your nearest Divisional Railway Manager’s Office with all the relevant documents in original as well as self-attested photocopies. Relevant documents here means:
- Concession Certificate
- Photo Identity Proof
- Date of Birth Proof
- Address Proof
- 2 passport size color photo
When you submit your application, the envelope containing the documents and the application should have legibly written heading “Application for issue of Railway Identity Card for Physically Challenged Persons for Ticketing”.
The application submitted for the purpose should be addressed to the Sr. DCM of the division.
Verification of the submitted documents by Commercial Inspector
Once you submit your documents along with the application the concerned officer would get them verified from a commercial inspector. The procedure will step forward only after the inspector verifies that the issuing hospital, doctor and the details mentioned are all correct. Only the concession certificate issued by a government office of the concerned zone will be entertained.
Hand over the Photo Identity Card to the concerned person
After the verification process is complete you’ll get a call from the D.R.M Office about the date and time for collecting your photo identity card. If a disabled person wishes she can send any representative on her behalf to collect the identity card. The representative must have an authority letter (a handwritten permission by the PwD and duly attested signature of the representative) in order to get the Photo Identity Card from the D.R.M Office.
De-validation of the Concession Certificate
While issuing the photo identity card with unique 11 digits identification number, the D.R.M office will endorse the information on the original concession certificate by pasting a stamp with all relevant details. Once the details are endorsed, your concession certificate becomes useless. Now you have to use only the photo identity card for all further transactions with the Railways.
Practically using your photo identity card
For booking concessional tickets online you’ll need to use your unique 11 digits ID number and you’ll have to carry the original photo identity card to be checked on-board and off-board. If you are booking the ticket at the ticket window then you may have to submit a photocopy of the identity card at the counter. In this case, too you’ll have to carry the original photo identity while traveling through railways.
Booking ticket for the escort/attendant
When a person with disability is to travel with an attendant then the attendant’s identity too is important. While booking tickets online you’ll get a list of 10 valid IDs for the attendant from which you have to choose the one which the attendant will carry while traveling with you.
This was all a PwD needs to know for getting and using the photo identity card issued by railways.
You may have some doubts such as – what will happen if you lost your identity card? What will you do after the expiration i.e. 5 years after the issuance of the photo identity card? In both the cases answer is same… you will have to get a new photo identity card. In case you lost your photo identity card, you’ll first need to file an F.I.R. and take a copy of the same. After this you’ll have to follow the same steps (as explained above) but this time your relevant documents will have a new partner – the photocopy of the F.I.R.
In case of expiration of the card you are expected to start your process of getting a new photo identity card three months prior to the expiration of the old card.
Should you have any further query or you find something missing in the article, please get in touch through the comment section. We will try our best to assist you. Stay tuned with WeCapable.
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