My Camera still works !!


differently-abled sandesh
IS DMRC an unfriendly to ‘differently- abled’ passengers?? Yes Not only that today evening at Rajiv Chowk metro station, Sandesh a daily wage labor come to take a ticket at the counter has been refused and ignored. He standing in the ‘Q’… hardly help. Photos by Gireesh GV

How my camera taught DMRC staff virtue of caring for the disabled?

I love my camera. Not only it helps me capture moments, on ample occasions, I found that it helps those making the moments too. Today, it did its job expeditiously. But, it left me with a question – Why was there a need for a camera to tell Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) staff that they need to be sensitive towards the differently-abled?

Well it is not my story.. or that of my camera. This is about Sandesh, a daily-waged worker – a differently-abled person, who finds it hard every day to commute in DMRC trains – having little use of his lower limbs.

Today was no ‘different’ for Sandesh.

I saw him at Rajiv Chowk Metro Station ‘standing’ in queue at the card recharging machine.

People in the queue stole glances at Sandesh; so did a security guard posted to keep the queue in single file. As he approached the window, he fell short of reaching the slots. Ironically, onlookers looked on.

I can’t say that I was the only one with intentions to help him. But, I was the first. I offered to get him the token.

Sandesh had another issue. He wanted to recharge his card. Since tomorrow was a working day and rush hours would this make towering task for him. The recharging machine accepted only large currency notes and he had small denominations.

DMRC staff on duty at the counter, had no solutions. “What can we do if he is disabled,” was a reply thrown by one of them.

This is where my camera came to the rescue. As I lifted it out of the case, the staff members’ demeanor drastically changed. Out came a Rs 100 currency note in exchange of two 50 rupees notes for Sandesh . Along it were please directed towards me: “I am a daily-waged worker.., they will take my job it this goes out,” said the staffer. The guard came with an excuse that he was rushing out for dinner.

IS DMRC a unfriendly to ‘differently- abled’ passengers?? Yes Not only that today evening at Rajiv Chowk metro station,  Sandesh  a daily wage labor come to take a ticket at the counter has been refused and ignored. He neither got any help from guard on duty. When I saw him struggling to draw a token from the machine, I offered a help.

I left it at that. But during my entire journey in the metro train, I could not stop thinking. DMRC had been making tall claims of making arrangements for the differently–abled describing what it operates as – ‘India’s first public transport system with adequate features for differently-abled persons’.

It claims to provide extra-wide automatic flap gates for wheelchairs, lifts with buttons installed at a low level, tactile paths for the visually impaired, reserved spaces for wheelchairs in trains, etc.

The 7 minute episode that my camera helped end, proves beyond doubt that DMRC’s tall claims about training staff to deal with differently-abled were as ‘flat’ as the excuses given by its staff member and the security guard.

{ From DMRC’s guide book,Facilities for the differently-abled:  Delhi Metro is perhaps India’s first public transport system with adequate features for differently-abled persons. These include extra-wide automatic flap gates for wheelchairs, lifts with buttons installed at a low level, tactile paths for the visually impaired, reserved spaces for wheelchairs in trains, etc. In addition, station staff constantly monitors passenger movement and provides personal help to any differently-abled person who needs assistance.”}

 

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