She made trains accessible for disabled

She made trains accessible for disabled

A debilitating accident had left Virali Modi physically disabled for life in 2006. But even as she endured this with dignity, Virali's admirable resolve to live suffered a shattering blow: "I was molested three times by policemen in railway stations, in 2008, 2011 and 2013," recollects Virali, who later hit back with a nationwide campaign for 'safe' ramps for wheel-chaired women.

Thanks to her untiring efforts, five cities in South India now have ramps for the disabled to climb without being inappropriately touched by another person. Last year, the Kerala and Tamil Nadu state governments responded by introducing ramps to help the physically challenged board trains.

Chennai, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Thrissur have adopted a model of portable ramps that help a person on a wheelchair to be pushed into a train. For wheelchaired women, this makes a huge difference. "While boarding the train, we will have to be lifted up and placed inside the train by an unfamiliar hand. The ramps help to be less dependent on others," Virali explains.

Railway stations in Bengaluru are yet to be equipped this way. But she wants to change that. "I am talking to the railway officials to get this facility to Bengaluru. I expect a result by the end of this year," she says. A prize-winner at the Miss Wheelchair contest, Virali had recovered remarkably from the 2006 accident. Her turnaround has been such an inspiration for many that Virali's motivational speeches across the country have huge fans.

On Wednesday, a day before Women's Day, Virali was at her inspiring best addressing Christ University students. She said, "Women are considered warriors only on Women's Day. But every day should be a day of courage."

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry