Keeping with its promises to facilitate technology for visually-challenged passengers towards its social responsibility, the Indian Railways is all set to introduce country first Braille-embedded coach in Purushottam Express.
In a first of its kind, railways has manufactured an AC three-tier coach with Braille signages to be operational by February end in the New Delhi-Puri superfast Purshottam Express as part of its social commitment in 2013-14 Rail budget to make trains and stations friendly towards specially-abled passengers. The AC coach is equipped with Braille-embedded signages on berths, toilets, wash basins and doors as well.
At present, coaches are provided with signage, instructions, seat numbers, etc, which are mostly in the form of vinyl stickers or metallic plates and have no Braille characters and cannot be read by visually-impaired passengers. The first coach with Braille signages, manufactured at Integrated Coach Factory in Chennai is ready. A senior railway official said the visually-impaired friendly AC coach was made with the inputs received from Research Designs and
Standards Organisation, Railways’ research arm, and consultation with blind associations. Expected to be a major step for facilitation of visually- impaired passengers during journey in trains, Railways plans to equip more AC and non-AC coaches with Braille-embedded signages. It costs about Rs 40,000 to make a coach visually- challenged friendly as Braille printing are superimposed on the stickers which can be used by both a person with normal vision as well as a visually impaired person. With embedded pictures or characters, there would not be any defacing even on repeated contacts or rubbing, added the official.