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Train Travel Tips for Disabled Persons in India

a coach for disabled people in an indian train
Samyak Lalit
Samyak Lalit | November 6, 2017 (Last update: November 6, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an author and disability rights activist. He is a polio survivor and the founder of projects like Kavita Kosh, Gadya Kosh, TechWelkin, WeCapable, Dashamlav and Viklangta Dot Com. Website: www.lalitkumar.in

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

a coach for disabled people in an indian train

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!

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4 responses to “Train Travel Tips for Disabled Persons in India”

  1. Avatar Preetam Wani says:

    Hi,
    Myself Preetam.
    I am orthopedically disabled person with more than 80% disability.
    I want to know how get help while travelling by train.
    Need helpline number to raise a complaint mainly about some idiots who always travels in bogie for disabled without any disability.
    Those fools should be punished.

  2. Avatar Jinendrakumar says:

    Sir. I am a disabled person with 42%disability certifacte.I already applied for railway concession pass. But now I wan’t to book a ticket for next month. Can I get a concession for journey.?

  3. Avatar Partha Dasgupta says:

    My mom is physically challenged and she can’t even stand without human support. In September we have to take her to New Jalpaiguri We have booked our tickets in Padatik Express. NJP is not the terminating station and timetable is showing that the train will stop there for only 15mins. It will be very difficult for us alight her from the train with all her luggage along with wheelchair, commode chair & Walker. In that case can I request the guard to wait till she alights?
    Anxiously waiting for your early response.
    Thanking you in anticipation.
    Regards.
    Partha Dasgupta

    • Samyak Lalit Samyak Lalit says:

      Dear Partha, I can understand your anxiety. However, it may be difficult to put the train on hold, you may speak with the station master of the NJP and ask for their help. You should also make priority list of what to take off the train first. First of all, make sure your mother is alighted — then her wheelchair — then luggage — then walker and then the commode chair. If possible, you can ask a couple of friends to be present at the platform to help you in all this process. If friends are not available, you can ask a couple of fellow passengers to help you in unloading the luggage asap. Also, even if any piece of luggage you can’t get off — don’t panic. You can always get certain new pieces (like commode chair / walker) and/or you can inform the station’s Lost and Found team. They will try to get hold your luggage at the next station.

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