Free Metro ride fails to impress sightless, but are ok with discount on fare

Free Metro ride fails to impress sightless, but are ok with discount on fare

Rohit, a 24-year-old visually impaired man, takes the DTC bus to his home in Shahdara from R K Ashram Marg frequently. But there are many times when the buses usually don’t stop for him to take him on board.

The reason he says is that the travel is free and the bus drivers will not lose revenue if they do not stop for him.

 “Sometimes when we ask the bus number, they lie and misguide us, especially if there is a group of friends. This proves that if something is given as a freebie to us, we are like a burden and lose respect,” he said.

 The comments come on a day when a proposal was given to the Centre to make travel free of cost in the Delhi Metro for visually impaired.

East Delhi BJP MP Maheish Girri on Friday wrote to Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Venkiah Naidu to make their Metro travel free of cost and hassle free.

Many visually challenged people Deccan Herald spoke to welcomed the idea but said rather than making the service free of cost it should be subsidised or a discount should be given on the total fare or a provision of limited trips on the free pass.

They said instead the focus should be on making the public transport in the national capital more disabled friendly.

Satish Singh, a music teacher at the Institute for the Blind at Paharganj and visually impaired in both eyes, said that it’s difficult for people like him to board or deboard the Metro on their own on unknown routes and sometimes they have to wait for 15-20 minutes for an assistant at the Metro.

No helpers

 “There is no official post for helpers of disabled people. It’s the housekeeping staff that helps us and sometimes they are busy with their work.

“It becomes extremely difficult at big Metro stations like Rajiv Chowk and Kashmiri Gate and when we have to change two or three Metros without their help. There should be a dedicated staff for this,” he said.

 Vijay Manjhi, who teaches Hindi at a school, said that there should be a toll free number where they can register their complaints regarding public transport.

 Meanwhile, the students residing in the school said that it will be a “relief” for them if the travel is made free of cost as they don’t earn but have to use the public transport often.
 
“We go out for various things like playing at the JLN Stadium and our own work. It will be a relief if such a decision is taken,” said Pankaj, a class 11 student.

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