Disabled friendly buses

We have, at times, reasons to strongly criticise the State Transport Department when heart rending road accidents take place for failure on the front of the portion of job, they were supposed to do to prevent such accidents. When, however, a right decision is taken which though should have been taken much earlier in whatever form, is sought to be taken now, we would not only welcome it but appreciate it too. That the department has decided to register 5 per cent of all new public transport buses as ‘disabled friendly’ is a welcome step and one of the basic social measures going to have its impact on more frequent basis depending upon the individual mobility requirements.
At the outset, euphemistically , we call such category of people as “differently abled” and generally not “disabled” and refer to both physical and mental categories in the group who do not require any special kindness , if not that absolute mercy, but it is our duty to behave with and treat them with proper dignity , as a civilized society should . Since the levels of moral standards are being gradually consumed by the abstract materialistic pursuits, day in and day out, laws are now under compulsions made to make it obligatory on the sons not to callously abandon their fathers and mothers in the twilight of their age. Had spate of such incidents not been taking place even where the families were well to do and ‘adorned’ educationally too, State intervention would not been there as a necessity. Similarly, consideration towards differently abled at public transport stops and depots from the public, with exceptions of course, is plummeting necessitating reserving seats for this categories in buses, metros, railways etc or even ply vehicles exclusively for them. Such a provision, however, is nowhere to be seen in the State.
We, however, proudly make it a point that this state in all the three divisions, had been living up to its name of treating such categories politely , giving preference to them in boarding and de-boarding public vehicles . One would even voluntarily forego one’s seat to make it for the differently abled and be considerate and very cooperative but times are changing in the sense that behavioural patterns are becoming increasingly inelastic . That is why, perhaps, such a step proposed by the State Transport Department has been taken . We find in NCR regions, even certain buses having facilities specially tailored for them like having boarding platforms in such a way that members of such groups board the vehicles without any hassles. There are a few seats in private and public vehicles too reserved for differently abled and the same is duly written and notified near and on such seats . Generally speaking, such a culture is either not nursed , the initiative naturally being from the Government or the need for the same having been not felt, in our state so far.
However, certain queries need clarifications. Agreed , certain agencies and institutions have been decided to be roped in for providing rather donating at least two buses each which were specially designed for the purpose , to the Transport Department as their contribution towards such a noble cause but running and maintaining them would be the exclusive domain of the Transport Department involving cost factor. The salaries of the drivers, conductors, fuel, mismatch between the operational costs and the revenues earned, maintenance and repairs etc making them a loss suffering ‘ventures’ carrying with them the risk of later abandoning of the project . Secondly, shall private transporters readily agree to the proposal as who would decide which of the vehicles for public transport purposes fall in the category of 5 percentreservation? Thirdly, why should all the public transport operators not make it mandatory to earmark and reserve at least a bare minimum percentage of seats for the category of such persons ? Perhaps, the proposed action plan would throw more light on the subject in the very near future. The fact , however, remains that much needs to be done for the betterment and comfort of differently abled, the old and the infirm by the Government .