Thursday, February 20, 2014

Railways initiates Braille Signage in Purushottam Express - a step towards inclusive transport

Here is a good news coming from Indian Railways which has made its one train Delhi- Puri superfast Purushottam Express accessible to the visually impaired by installing braille signages in the AC Three Tier Coach as announced in the Rail Budget 2013014.

The credit goes to its research unit called RDSO (Research Designs & Standandards Organisation) and NGOs working on Blindness. A good beginning and we hope this is replicated in all new coaches of various classes and not just select few.

Here is the coverage from The Times of India:

Purushottam Express to have 1st braille-embedded coach
PTI | Feb 16, 2014, 10.51AM IST

NEW DELHI: Purushottam Express is slated to become the first train in the country to have a Braille- embedded AC coach for visually-challenged passengers. 

In a first of its kind, Railways has manufactured an AC three-tier coach with Braille signages to be operational by end of this month in the Delhi-Puri superfast Purshottam Express as part of its social commitment to make trains and stations more friendly towards specially-abled passengers. 

At present, coaches are provided with signages, instructions, seat numbers, etc, which are mostly in the form of vinyl stickers or metallic plates and have no Braille characters and cannot be read by visually-impaired passengers. 

The first coach with Braille signages, manufactured at Integrated Coach Factory in Chennai is ready and stationed here to be rolled out with Purshottam Express, said a senior Railway Ministry official. 

The AC coach is equipped with Braille-embedded signages on berths, toilets, wash basins and doors as well. 

He said the visually-impaired friendly AC coach was made with the inputs received from Research Designs and Standards Organisation, Railways' research arm, and consultation with blind associations. 

Expected to be a major step for facilitation of visually- impaired passengers during journey in trains, Railways plans to equip more AC and non-AC coaches with Braille-embedded signages. 

It costs about Rs 40,000 to make a coach visually- challenged friendly as Braille printing are superimposed on the stickers which can be used by both a person with normal vision as well as a visually impaired person. 

With embedded pictures or characters, there would not be any defacing even on repeated contacts or rubbing. 

It was announced in the Rail Budget of 2013-14, that Braille stickers will be introduced for visually-challenged passengers.

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