Northern railway in March 2015 made provision for extending e-ticket facility for PwDs by discontinuing to issue concession tickets on the production of certificate issued by CMO, and procedure made for new concession certificate is complicated as it is assigned to DRMs, hence poor disables are feeling the burnt.
Handicapes are oneof the most vulnerable section of the society transcending the religion, caste, gender and region in India. Till date they don’t have any reservation in political space of India, hence unheard. While on the other hand the other vulnerable sections of the society do have their say because they have reservation in political space, although un proportionally,which is debated pan India by every political ideology. Women got their reservation in local bodies electionsthrough73rd&74thconstitutional amendment. Same is the case with SCs & STs, seats are reserved for them, to ensure their representation in various departments even in legislative bodies, in legislativebodies women as a community still devoid of.
As a matter of social security to assist physically disables Government of India in the year 1995, enacted an Act for PwDs referred as “The Person with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity, Protection of Rights and Full participation) Act, 1995, to give effect to the proclamation on the full Participation and equality of the PwDs in the Asian and Pacific region. Under this 3%reservation provision is made in education and in public sector, but extremely poorly implemented, through RTI, I sought information from Aligarh Muslim University, pertaining todifferently– abledemployment, I am informed that roster is not maintained, matter is still under consideration in Disability Commissioner office, Baghwan Das Road, New-Delhi. Now this Act is amended to “The Rights Of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016” after India ratified under UPA-1 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2007. Drafting committee requested for increasing the reservation quantum to 5%, which accepted for educational institutions while Government deferred in employment and restricted it for mere 4%.It seems that India can’t accommodate more handicaps to make departments dysfunctional due to disables, still an applaudable move.
But here I am concerned to the railway concession certificate, which is now made extremely complicated. Earlier as per rule under the PwD Act every district hospitals are required to specify a day in a week on which Handicapecertificates and concession certificates were issued after the examination by medical board duly constituted by CMO concern. By whichHandicapes were provided concessional railway ticket from the ticket window. As per Office of Disability Commissioner , New – Delhi, still more than 30% disables are longing for certificate, hence can’t avail concession ticket. To worsen the situation, under the premise of providing online tickets to the differently – abled Northernrailway on dated19th of March 2015 vide no. “2011/TG/e-ticketing for disabled /Pt. I” issued to all its zone to issue concession certificates to PwDs and for the same Sr. DCM( Divisional Commercial Manager) is designated. Which is extremely problematic, after four five months ofthe notification railway declined to provide concession ticket on the production of certificate issued by CMO.
The procedure is complex, one must have to identify the DRM office in which CMO Office falls which issued the Handicapecertificate, for instance I received my Handicape certificate from CMO Aligarh and I thought it will come under DRM Muradabad but no, Aligarh comes under Allahabad, which is substantially far compare to Muradabad, further DRM Allahabad has delegated DyChief Transport Manager, Kanpur, to issue concession certificate to those who belongs to the districts which are west to and adjacent to Kanpur. For which there is no public notice, this is informed when disables visits to DRM office, Allahabad. I submitted my application to the Allahabad authority and fortunate enough to receive my certificate (scanned copy attached) after registering grievance on online PMO grievance redressal site, and by mailing railway minister repeatedly but notbefore taking four months. But I also submitted application of my teacher who is semi – blind working as Professor in Department of Sociology, AMU and another application of my friend who is Orthopaedic Handicape , and pursuing Ph.D. in department of Chemistry, AMU, by now it is almost four months without any acknowledgement. When I visited to Kanpur office, attendant acknowledged me that still twenty or more days required.
As we know India still resides in hinterland villages, and people still rely on newspapers and radio for knowing the changes in programmes and policies , I couldn’t not find any public notification in Hindi dailies or on Radio.
I visited to home District’s Handicape welfare Officer, Ballia, who is meant for ensuring welfare of differently – abled of the concerned district, is altogether unaware of this, let alone the poor disables who resides in Qasbas and Villages.
Our Prime Minister in December 2016 while addressing in his radio program (Man ki Baat ) coined a new term for PwDs and referred them as Divyang i.e. divine gift or blessing. But ironically we Handicaps are poorly informed regarding programmes envisioned for us particularly VH(Visually Handicapes) to whom to access sites is a big challenge owing to non availability of screen reader.
Handicapes are one of the most vulnerable section of our society, they are physically Handicape, so they must be helped by easing the information dissemination procedures. District Handicape welfare officer inVikas Bhawan must be assigned to issue certificates of every types, be it medical certificate or railway concession certificate or else. Since they are physically challenged it is tough for them to get certificates in our redtapism bureaucracy. Hope railway minister and authorities will entertain my concerns.
Amir Hussain, Orthopaedically Handicapped, Pursuing Ph.D in Department of Social Work A.M.U. (firstname.lastname@example.org)