NGO accuses railway officials of threatening to assault persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Bengaluru

The alleged incident took place when individuals with IDD and their caretakers had visited Gollahalli railway station in Bengaluru to learn about railway stations

November 09, 2022 10:42 am | Updated 12:42 pm IST - Bengaluru:

A representational photo of a train in a railway station in Bengaluru. The alleged incident took place when individuals with IDD and their caretakers had visited Gollahalli railway station in Bengaluru to learn about railway stations.

A representational photo of a train in a railway station in Bengaluru. The alleged incident took place when individuals with IDD and their caretakers had visited Gollahalli railway station in Bengaluru to learn about railway stations. | Photo Credit: Suchith Kidiyoor

A day after a video clip of a railway official allegedly threatening to assault persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs) went viral on various social media platforms, a complaint has been lodged with the Karnataka State Disabilities Act Commissioner.

In the complaint, city-based NGO Snehadhara Foundation claimed that individuals with IDD and their caretakers had visited Gollahalli railway station to learn about railway stations. Railway officials objected to their presence. This led to an argument between Gitanjali Govindarajan, founder of Snehadhara, and railway officials.

Additional Divisional Railway Manager Kusuma Hariprasad said that an explanation was sought from the official in charge of the station. She added that necessary action will be taken if any lapse is found on the part of the official.

Ms. Gitanjali told The Hindu, “We have filed a written complaint with the Karnataka State Disabilities Act Commissioner. Since the video went viral, we have heard from various parent groups and support groups, expressing outrage.

“After this incident, I learnt that railway officials are offering to arrange a trip to the station. But the point is not concession, it is about their right to access such public places, like anybody else. Why do we need to think so much when it comes to children with special needs who are accompanied by adults?

“All the individuals who had gone to the railway station have Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs), which is invisible when compared to physical disabilities,” she said.

People cannot believe this is a railway station in India
Sir M Visvesvaraya railway Terminal at Baiyappanahalli in Bengaluru is the result of the Indian government’s ambition to modernise railway stations in India | Video Credit: K Murali Kumar

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