To make boarding a train easier for visually impaired people, an activist from the city has developed a beeper with the help of an electronics engineer. Rina Patil, a 29-year-old who is visually impaired, has developed the device that will help visually and physically challenged people board the railway bogie meant for them.
Patil was helped in the endeavour by electronics engineer Devidas Bhonde. A similar device was installed some time ago at major railway stations in Mumbai. When its is installed at the Pune railway station, the device will help blind people identify the position of the special bogie reserved for disabled passengers.
According to railway authorities, the position of the reserved bogie for visually and physically challenged passengers is fixed. By installing the beeper device at the fixed spot, visually challenged people will find it easier to trace its location.
“The idea of installing a beeper at railway stations was initiated by a blind liftman, Sandeep Yadav, on Maharashtra Day on May 1, 2012,” Patil said. “Yadav narrated this idea to V C Bodke, assistant public officer, Central Railway, Pune, and it was appreciated by him.”
Patil took up the challenge and the first beeper device was made with the help of Bhonde 50 days ago. “We did extensive research and prepared the device to donate it to the Pune railway station on behalf of our NGO Group Advait Parivar,” she said. She submitted the prototype to the Pune railway station for use on an experimental basis.
“This device is in development stage and suggestions from the Railways can improve it further,” she said. “There are many blind and physically challenged people who are regular passengers. About 100 such passengers travel everyday by Deccan Queen, Pragati or other Mumbai-bound trains.
My idea is to install the beeper devise initially for the Pune-Lonavla local train service. If it clicks, it can be used on other platforms at the Pune railway station and the suburban stations.” Bhonde said the device beeped 24 hours a day and consumed less electricity than a night lamp.
“There are many devices available in the market that beep intermittently, but I had to make a beeper device with continuous beeping sound,” Bhonde said. “I worked on this device for 25 days and finally made a 24-hour beeping device after conducting many experiments. This device will increase the monthly electricity bill by a mere Rs 3 as its consumption is even less than that of a night lamp.”
Bhonde said the production cost of the beeper was Rs 1,200 and its life was more than three years. Central Railway spokesperson Y K Singh said higher-ups had been sounded about the device and the need to install it. “We have received the device from Rina Patil and the proposal has been sent to our seniors for its implementation,” Singh said.