Transport workers including drivers, conductors and technical staff of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), Tiruchi, got a first-hand account of the inconveniences, persons with disabilities face while using public transport, at a training organised by the Spastics Society of Tiruchi.
The highlight of the training on ‘challenges faced by persons with disabilities in public transportation and its intervention’ was an open forum. Three speakers- a person with visual impairment working in an industry, a physically challenged student studying speech therapy in a city college, and a mother of a child with cerebral palsy, narrated instances when they had to confront crew of government buses or fellow passengers to claim rights and special privileges due to them. Drawing from personal experiences and real-life situations, P. Calduwel Newton, assistant professor, Bishop Heber College, (physically challenged), listed physical and psychological encumbrances faced by persons with disabilities while using public transport. G. Tagore, course co-ordinator, outlined various transportation models available for persons with disabilities in India and abroad. X. Charles Prince, from the Spastics Society, sensitised transport staff on government orders entitling PWD to various travel concessions and benefits.
Earlier, V. Chandrasekaran, deputy manager, TNSTC exhorted transport staff to be sensitive and sympathetic to the needs of persons with disabilities. K. Thiruneelakandan, released the first copy of the resource material which was distributed to all participants. C. Shanthakumar, director, Spastics Society-Tiruchi, and Balachandar, physiotherapist, spoke. R. Shyamala, district differently abled welfare officer, distributed certificates to participants. The training was supported by the Regional Resource Training Centre.