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Ensure safety, dignity of PwD passengers: Transport dept
The crew should take proactive steps to ensure that persons with disabilities (PwD) travelling on buses do not face any hardship and they are treated with dignity and compassion, the State Transport Department instructed its employees.
In a letter to the Managing Directors of State Transport Corporations, Department Secretary K Gopal highlighted the standard operating protocol that is in place. “Bus should compulsorily stop at the exact bus stops only so that (differently abled) persons can board the buses. Conductors should not refuse to take them citing lack of seats. Conductor should ask other passengers, who occupy seats allocated for PwDs, to leave the seat for them,” the letter said.
The letter added that transport employees should restrain from talking harshly or use vulgar words against disabled passengers. Also, PwD passengers should be treated with respect and compassion.
“Conductors should make sure that the PwD persons board and alight the buses safely. PwD persons and their escort, who have valid identity cards, can travel in white board buses free of cost. Also, all types of persons with disabilities should be allowed to travel at 75 per cent concession in all buses across the State,” the Secretary directed.
Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers (TARATDAC) welcomed the move, noting that the association had urged the government in November to release standard operating protocol.