Differently-abled pour out transport woes
CUTTACK: The Government proclaims that it is sensitive to the problems of access faced by the physically challenged. It also..
CUTTACK: The Government proclaims that it is sensitive to the problems of access faced by the physically challenged. It also claims spending huge sums in installing infrastructure. But the disabled are still to feel any discernible change in the scene across the State.
Travelling by the public transport system has posed a major challenge to the physically challenged as the vehicles do not have the facilities for easy boarding and alighting. They are also subjected to serious harassment while commuting.
The Government has spent Rs 1.60 crore on equipping the public transportation systems with facilities for people with disabilities. In spite of the claims, the people have not benefited.
Instances of harassment were galore at the public hearing organised by the National Trust of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in association with the Committee for Legal Aid to Poor under the Badhte Kadam initiative here.
Submitting before the hearing panel, one Bijay Kumar Sahoo, a student of BJB College, Bhubaneswar, alleged that seats were not offered to persons with disabilities. Though there was provision of free travel for persons with disabilities, he was charged by the conductor even in the State-run City Bus Service in the State capital. Another participant Dolly Sahoo of Arabinda Nagar in Ganjam district also stated that she was harassed and misbehaved by the bus conductor while travelling regularly. Though there were provisions for reserving seats for physically challenged, they were not offered to the beneficiaries.
The panel comprising Dr V Pruthviraj, former Justice of the Orissa High Court PK Mishra, People with Disabilities Commissioner Kasturi Mohapatra, Registrar of State Commission for Persons with Disabilities SK Mishra, Cuttack Collector Girish SN took note of the problems.
The issues would be put up before the Government for immediate action, the panel promised.
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