Coimbatore

Coimbatore Railway Station becomes visually challenged-friendly

A visually challenged person trying out the newly-installed Braille information board placed at the main entrance of the Coimbatore Railway Station.

A visually challenged person trying out the newly-installed Braille information board placed at the main entrance of the Coimbatore Railway Station.   | Photo Credit: S_SIVA SARAVANAN

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Two Braille master boards installed

With the installation of Braille information boards and Braille-embossed handrails on November 1, Coimbatore Railway Station becomes the first railway station under Southern Railway to become visually challenged-friendly.

Coimbatore also earns the distinction of being the fourth station under the Railways to become visually challenged-friendly following Mysuru, Bengaluru stations in Karnataka and Borivali station in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

A railway official said on Saturday that two Braille master boards – one at the main entrance and the second in the back entrance near Information Centre – have been installed, which lays out the blueprint of the railway station for the visually challenged passengers. Apart from these, the offices and amenities such as taps and toilets in the railway station have been fitted with Braille boards.

“Around 250 Braille boards are currently placed in the station,” the official told The Hindu.

Another aspect is the Braille-embossed handrails near staircases leading to the platforms. This would help the visually challenged passengers to recognise the platforms without looking for any help, the official explained.

Collaboration

The project was done in collaboration with Anuprayaas, a Bengaluru-based private firm that focuses on improving accessibility for visually challenged.

The total project cost at Coimbatore Railway Station was nearly ₹5 lakh.

“We wanted to ensure that the visually challenged passengers are independent when they navigate the railway station,” the official said regarding the intent of this project.

The Braille boards were checked by visually challenged experts and were found to be error-free. However, any inaccuracies or other grievances related to the Braille boards and handrails shall be communicated to the Station Manager of Coimbatore Railway Station at 0422-2302747, the official noted.

Initiative hailed

P. Manoharan, South India Project Director of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), welcomed this initiative, noting that this would make visually challenged passengers more independent and self-reliant. “The special counter for the differently abled was not properly functioning in many occasions,” he recalled during a telephonic interview with The Hindu, adding that visually challenged passengers often relied on public for any information to reach a particular location.

To further cater to the visually challenged passengers, railway officials may play the station announcements outside Coimbatore Railway Station so that the visually challenged shall know that they have reached the station, Mr. Manoharan suggested.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 7:26:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/coimbatore-railway-station-becomes-visually-challenged-friendly/article29872964.ece

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