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Ensure metro rail facilities for the persons with disabilities

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04th-Dec-2018       
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With a view to creating awareness about differently-abled people, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and National Disabled Day-2018 was observed in the country as elsewhere in the world yesterday.  On the day, the persons with disabilities have urged the authorities concerned to ensure that the under-construction metro rail should have all accessibility for them. They also said staff members of the metro rail have to be given necessary training so they can help persons with disabilities with a friendly attitude. They made the demands at a programme jointly organized by BRAC and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the city where representatives including disabled members of around 80 NGOs took part.
General Secretary of Bangladesh Visually Impaired People's Society said people's attitude toward the disabled are sometimes quite unfriendly. The metro rail staffers must be given proper training on how to handle persons with disabilities in a friendly manner. A number of speakers recommended half fare for the disabled. Chairman of National Human Rights Commission said, "The needs of the persons with disabilities are under serious consideration of the government."
The deal for construction of the 20.1 kilometres Metro Rail, costing US$2.8 billion, was signed by the Government of Bangladesh with the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2013. The first route, originally projected to start from Uttara to Sayedabad was eventually extended north to Uttara and truncated south to Motijheel. Government is hopeful that it will bring a major change in public transportation system if the rail starts its journey.
There are an estimated 16 million people with disabilities in Bangladesh, roughly 10 per cent of the country's population. So, we have to think about the facilities of the persons with disability in the mass rapid transport system. People's perceptions on disability remain largely negative till the date. In particular, disability is often viewed as a curse in rural areas and they think that it was brought on by the misdeeds of parents. It is often believed to be contagious too. What's more pathetic is that, children with and without disabilities rarely become friends, creating a social seclusion which continues in adult life also.   
It's impossible to go forward keeping a huge number of people out of major track. In modern countries, the disabled are treated with special care. We must do something for them.


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