Railways plan braille numbering and other signs for visually-impaired

मुंबई Mumbai: Good news for the visually impaired people who travel by the railways everyday. The railways’ plan to have braille numbering and other signs for the visually-impaired finally got off the ground with the Integral Coach Factory inviting tenders for the large-scale supply of these items. The first big tender for braille numbers to indicate the berths of long-distance trains was issued this week and will be opened at the ICF’s Chennai headquarters on November 25.

Confirming the development, Alok Johri, Member (Mechanical) said it is the first time railways was going for these braille signage for its long-distance coaches. Currently, long distance coaches have their signage, seat numbers as well as general instructions in the normal format written on vinyl stickers or metallic plates only helpful to normal passengers.

In the latter part of last year, railways deciding to provide braille stickers in coaches to facilitate visually impaired passengers. Things moved slowly since then and plans to have one air-conditioned coach in the Delhi-Purushottam Express also seemed to have been stalled.

The railway plan for braille signs and numbers in coaches will include braille characters embedded on to the metallic base so that visually-impaired could touch it and decode the information. Railway officials said the signage has been developed by the ICF under the observation of the Research Design Standards Organisation (RDSO) with suggestions from various organisations working for the visually-impaired.