Mysuru Railway Station has become the first railway station in India to be visually impaired friendly.
With the aim of helping visually impaired passengers travel independently, features like tactile maps and train schedules in Braille were unveiled at the station.
Anuprayaas, a non-government organization working for the welfare of visually challenged persons, along with south-western railway officials, started working on this project about a month ago. The first phase was inaugurated on November 3, and two more phases are being planned. The installations at the station include the following:
- Tactile maps to give people an idea about the physical layout of the station. It is basically a map with raised surfaces that describes the distance and location of the entrance, platforms, counters, washrooms etc. The map informs people where they are, which side to turn and how many steps to take to reach a help desk.
- Train itinerary sign board that provides train names their schedules in Braille. These are fixed signboards and do not provide real time information like electronic boards.
- 400 metallic Braille signs have been installed at about ten places on each platform. Placed along the railing of the staircase leading to various platforms, they provide directions and platform information.
- Restaurants, canteens and food plazas in the railways station will not have Braille menu cards too.
27-year-old Pancham Cajla is the founder of Anuprayaas, and he started working on this project along with five of his friends. Mysuru MP, Pratap Simha, inaugurated the facility.
Sowmya visually challenged girl inaugurating tactile map of mysuru station with all utilities & train time table pic.twitter.com/M9yEfLggkS
— Rajkumar Lal DRM/MYS (@DrmMys) November 3, 2015
“As a part of the railway department, I went to organizations and met blind people. We asked them about what they would expect from a blind-friendly railway station,” Arun Kumar Singh, Telecom engineer with the South-Western Railways who helped in the execution of the project, told The News Minute.
During the testing period, the NGO brought many visually impaired people to check the features. Until people became aware of this facility, volunteers from the NGO will help the passengers. Anuprayaas is planning to go digital, improve the tactile maps, and introduce more disabled friendly battery cars in the second phase.