Traveling could be a daunting task for many persons with disabilities, especially for those who are traveling for the first time. In countries like India, commuting is not really a comfortable thing for everyone. In metro cities, you may find some bit of development towards the disabled friendly infrastructure… but in small cities, rural and remote areas things are far from being convenient. Even if there are some facilities available, disabled people are often unaware them. First time disabled users of a transport system often feel worried about how the travel is going to be.
Today we are publishing a few tips for train travel for disabled people in India. We would request the readers to contribute more information so that this compilation of tips could benefit more and more people with disabilities.
Train Travel Tips for Disabled Persons in India
I am a polio survivor and I walk with two underarm crutches. I have traveled by trains in India on a few occasions. When I was to take a train for the first time, I was really worried as I did not know how to navigate the train stations and catch the trains. Following tips I have learned from my experiences. I hope these turn out to be useful for you:
- If possible, you should prefer a train that terminates at the destination. Changing trains in between could be a hassle as you will have to get off a train and then catch another one. But of course a direct train is not always possible.
- If you have to change trains, do not take train’s stoppage time for granted. If the timetable says that a train will stop for 10 minutes on the platform, do not really believe it! Sometimes trains depart much earlier than the scheduled departure time. So, you should try and get into the train as soon as possible.
- Premier trains like Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express, mostly stop at platforms that have direct connection to the exit. If you are using these trains — then you would not have to use over-bridges to reach your platform.
- Coolies are available right at the entrance of the train stations. They can carry your luggage to and from the trains. They can also help you in pushing your wheelchair and guide you through the crowd. Coolies will place all your luggage at your seat and will leave after making you comfortable at your train seat. However, some coolies always remain in hurry — so you need to keep reminding them that they should help you in all the ways you need. Coolies do charge an amount for their service. You should negotiate the amount beforehand.
- Some of the train stations provide wheelchair facility. If you need a wheelchair at the station, it is better to call the station and ask if they provide this facility and what you will need to do to avail it. Along with wheelchair, you also get an assistant who will push your wheelchair. Luggage will also be managed by the assistant.
- Railways provide concessional tickets to persons with disabilities. You might want to take this concession while booking your tickets. For this, you would need to have the Railways Photo Identity Card aka Concession Certificate for the disabled persons.
- Trains do have reserved seats for disabled people in a separate coach for disabled. Door of this coach are wide but height from platform is about 1.5 feet. They use a hydrolic lift to get your wheelchair inside the coach. If you can not (or do not want to) get out of your wheelchair, it is better to opt for this special coach.
These are some of useful train travel tips for disabled persons. I request you to comment and share more tips. Your tips will be added in the article along with your name. Your contribution will definitely help reduce the train travel worries of someone! Thank you for using WeCapable. Stay connected with us!