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India's First Disabled-Friendly Railway Station

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We all are aware that it is really difficult for the 'specially-abled' to do many things on their own, not because of their incapability but because of lack of facilities for them. Travelling is one such thing that these people find it difficult to do. The country is presently not equipped with enough facilities to support specially-abled people. Whether it is a government building or a public transport, their needs have been ignored. Recently, Kerala’s Ernakulam became the first national train railway station to be made completely accessible for disabled people.

Disabled Railway Station, national train

The credit for this huge step should go to the 25-year-old Virali Modi who has been fighting for the rights of specially-abled people in Mumbai. The idea of making a disabled-friendly railway station was reportedly inspired by disability activist Virali Modi’s “#MyTrainToo” initiative.

In a most praise-worthy initiative, a small railway station in Kerala, the Ernakulam Junction, has installed disabled-friendly facilities such as special ramps, lounges along with other amenities that will allow citizens with disabilities to commute with ease. In addition to installing permanent ramps that will allow wheelchairs to move freely inside the station premises. The project also promises to have an electronic cart for porters to transport disabled and elderly passengers to their trains.

India's first disabled friendly railway station, hotfoot railway

Virali, who has been on a wheelchair herself for a while now, had to face many difficulties in railway stations. She was often misbehaved with, and even a porter once tried taking advantage of her disability. This inspired her to start the campaign #MyTrainToo, for which she received immense support from people across the country.

In a tweet sent out on February 9 of last year, the then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had responded to Modi’s request on social media website Twitter by saying that he had taken a note of her idea.

In the 2008, Virali was declared clinically dead by American doctors. However, doctors in Mumbai Medical College saved her, and she is now living her life smoothly on a wheelchair. Her life's struggles have inspired Virali to advocate for the rights of specially-abled people.

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