DU to issue free Metro cards to disabled students

DU to issue free Metro cards to disabled students

Some praise move, others say crowded trains too risky

Delhi University will soon issue free Metro cards with an amount of Rs 1,000 to around 1,000 differently abled students. The cards will also be recharged free of cost.

“The final year students and those who reside in campus hostels or get financial assistance to the tune of Rs 8,000 per month will be excluded from the scheme. We will issue the cards very soon,” said Bipin Tiwari, officer on special duty (OSD) of Equal Opportunity Cell (EOC) of the varsity.

The university has around 10 colleges with hostel facilities for undergraduate students and houses around 200 students with disabilities.

“There are 19 postgraduate hostels. On an average, there will be around four persons with disabilities (PWD) students. We are already providing bus service (pick and drop facility) to those who reside in private accommodation and hostels in the campus,” he said. According to him, Rs 1,000 will be used in a month.

“We are calculating Rs 50 per day for travel expense in the Metro which will be used by students for around 20 days excluding Saturdays and Sundays. If the card is lost or stolen, the student has to block it. Then we will issue another card with the balance amount,” he added.

EOC is also trying to finish the last minute formalities for distributing laptops to a total of 1,300 differently abled students.

“We have a meeting on Thursday with officials and departments concerned. Hopefully everything will be finalised then,” he said.

Low-floored buses

A senior official said a proposal to make three low-floored buses available for PWD students has also been sent to the transport ministry recently.

“We even asked the officials concerned to give concessions for travelling in DTC buses not only to the visually impaired but to students with other disabilities also. At present, only blind students can avail concession in DTC buses. A proposal takes time to get passed,” said the official.

The move has evoked a mixed reaction among the students.

While some feel that it will help them save money, others specially the orthopaedic handicapped category ones said they usually opt for staying near their respective colleges to avoid travelling in public transport.

“During morning hours, Metro is extremely crowded. I do not want to take the risk of being pushed. A few who live out of campus and can afford it usually choose car pool or cab services,” said a 90 per cent wheelchair-bound postgraduate student.