Hyderabad: The South Central Railway has taken up a significant step forward in making trains more accessible to Divyang (differently-abled) passengers, aged people and passengers with limited mobility. A foldable wheelchair and a foldable ramp have been developed to help such passengers.
Though wheelchairs are provided in all stations in the Zone to facilitate needy passengers, boarding the train and reaching their seats was still a challenge.
An initiative was taken up on Guntur Division to provide a comfortable and hassle-free access to needy passengers by developing a user friendly proto type ramp which was further perfected in consultation with the industry. The ramp will help to push the wheelchair into the coach. The initiative also saw the developing of wheelchair that could have access into the narrow aisles of all coaches.
The challenge, according to an SCR release, was to make a wheelchair comfortable to differently abled passengers and enters the doors of all coaches especially 3AC coaches which are normally narrow.
The facility will be offered from January 18 on Train No.12747 Guntur–Vikarabad Palnadu Express to be the first train to be equipped with the facility. Passengers can seek the assistance of wheelchair or meet the Station Master on duty and ask for wheelchair with seat access. They have to mention their alighting station so that information is passed on in advance to the concerned station and guard. The On-Board House Keeping Staff on train will assist passengers to alight in the particular station. The facility is available at nominal charges.
The Foldable Wheelchair:
·The foldable wheelchair is light in weight, user friendly and maneuverable to help differently-abled passengers move easily along the aisle and reach their seat.
·The carrying capacity of the wheelchair is 100 kg
·Other features include swiveling footrest and foldable hand rest which can be lifted for maneuverability in narrow spaces. The chain comes equipped with handbrake and locking mechanism.
The Foldable Ramp:
·The Ramp is foldable, weighing around 35 kg
·Sturdy, capable of taking a dynamic load of 250 kg
·This ramp is fitted with a pair of telescopic adjustable legs which enable safe use on platform-to-train heights varying from 400 mm to 600 mm.