Seeking clarity on railway reservation rules

39-year-old Zoher Kheriwala is a visually impaired person from Mumbai, Maharashtra. He and his wife contracted an eye disorder known as Retinitis Pigmentosa which resulted in a gradual loss of their vision. Zoher is a businessman and his wife is working as a Helpdesk counselor at the Victoria Memorial Blind School.

Zoher and his wife faced an issue while booking third class AC railway tickets from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. While trying to book two seats for himself and his wife under the physically handicapped quota of reserved seats, he found that only one ticket was confirmed while the other appeared under the waiting list. He couldn’t find an explanation as to why this occurred and decided to try once more by booking two tickets under the same quota from Ratlam to Ahmedabad. To his dismay, the result was the same.

Zoher contacted the Eyeway Helpdesk wanting to know why only one ticket was confirmed and not the other. A representative of the Eyeway team filed an RTI to the Ministry of Indian Railways seeking information on this query. A few days later, Eyeway received a response to the RTI along with a circular stating that two berths in 3AC Class are earmarked for persons with disabilities in all long-distance mail or express trains and that these tickets are available on concession. It was also made clear that out of the two reserved seats under this quota, the lower berth is set aside for the handicapped person while the middle berth is for the escort. The counselor informed Zoher of the same and was able to clarify his doubts. Following this, Zoher booked a ticket keeping his wife as his escort and was able to get two confirmed tickets. Zoher is grateful to the Eyeway Helpdesk for their timely response and have requested them to spread awareness on this rule.