Thursday 23 March 2017 News Updated at 04:03 PM IST
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Light at the end of the tunnel - Deccan Herald
Light at the end of the tunnel
Anushree Agarwal, March 17, 2017, DHNS
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helpful Visually-impaired student Adil Sheikh using the facilities at the City Railway  Station. DH PHOTO BY B H SHIVAKUMAR
The city is said to often turn a blind eye to the needs of the disabled, so much so that many are left in the lurch when it comes to accessing essential services and public spaces. One wonders how long it will take before moving around becomes a smooth ride for them.

However, for those who are visually-impaired, the recent inauguration of Braille maps and platform indicators at Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna KSR-city (Majestic) railway station came as a ray of hope.

With this, it also earned the distinction of becoming the second blind-friendly railway station in the country after Mysuru.

It was inaugurated by divisional railway manager (DRM) Sanjiv Agarwal along with realtor Tathagata Chatterjee who funded the project under the corporate social responsibility scheme.

Visually-impaired persons can now walk into the main concourse of the railway station, where they can get to know the layout before entering the station. Around 600 Braille platform indicators are attached to the railings of the subways as well as the foot overbridges in all the platforms. The information in the Braille map and indicators comes in Kannada and English.

Chandrakanth, a visually-challenged person working with 'Samarthanam’ and Cricket Association for the Blind, says, "Usually, I travel with someone to the railway station as I need them to assist me to the platform. On a few occasions, when I was alone, I have faced problems as sometimes people answered my query and at times, no one bothered. I have always liked being independent and this initiative is a wonderful step in that direction. It would be great if something like this is done in other cities as well.”

Ruby Alphonse, a piano teacher, is very happy with the move. "Be it friends or anyone else, many a time people don’t understand that we are also like them. And everyone doesn’t oblige us the way we want to, whether it is at a railway station or while shopping. They feel that we don’t need to know everything. Having a blind-friendly railway station in the city is definitely going to make us more independent and self-sufficient,” she says.

Shekar Naik, former captain of the Indian blind cricket team, keeps travelling to his village and to impart cricket coaching in other places. "I want to thank the authorities for this progressive step and am very proud of the fact that we have the second blind-friendly railway station in the country.

However, I feel there should still be some helper at the station since sometimes, it might get difficult for us to reach the maps and we run the risk of falling down while on the escalators,” he points out.

Vinayak, working as a computer trainer for the visually-challenged, states, "Time is precious for everyone and this is a move in the right direction. However, there are many people who are not blind since birth and are impaired as a result of some accident or injury in their later years. They may not know Braille and the authorities should try to find a solution for them as well.”