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Concessions
The Government of India as well as various State Governments and Corporations offer a wide variety of concessions and facilities to the visually impaired. We have tried to list some of them here as a quick reference. This may not be a complete listing of all concessions available to the visually impaired and may sometimes be an older reference as things keep changing in this area and we do not have the details of the concessions provided by all the states. Please use this as a high level point of guidance only.

Concessions

Travel : Rail – Indian Railways allows a blind person to travel with or without escort at concessional fares. Refer to http://www.indianrail.gov.in/conc_Rules.html for details.

  • 75% concession provided in 2nd class, SL, 1st class, 3AC, AC chair car
  • 50% concession provided in 1st AC and 2nd AC
  • 25% concession provided in 3AC & AC Chair Car of Rajdhani/Shatabdi trains
  • 50% concession provided in MST & QST
  • One escort is also eligible for same element of concession

Bus – Different State Transport Departments provide different concessions. In Karnataka, people with complete vision loss can travel free in the city bus services and suburban & mofussil express buses after producing identity. There is no provision of concession to their escort/attendant. Applicant has to apply to District Welfare Officer attached to the Dy. Director, Women and Child Development Department at the district level and then approach KSRTC. KSRTC will then issue a bus pass that will provide free travel. Refer to http://www.ksrtc.in/pages/passes-concession.html for details. Mostly each state has its own policy, please check the relevant websites for state specific concession information.

Air (Domestic) – Indian Airlines allows 50% concessional fare to blind persons on single journey or single fare for round trip journey on all domestic flights. To avail this facility they have to produce a certificate from a medical practitioner. The air hostess/steward will support a blind person not accompanied by escorts in flight. Please refer to the airlines’ website or contact airline customer care number for further assistance. Also remember to get clear instructions about impact of the APEX charges from airlines. Different airlines provide different concessions, please check the websites of the airline you wish to use before buying your ticket.

Education : The state of Karnataka provides educational scholarship for 10 months in each academic year for blind students who pursue their education in a mainstream educational institution. The following scholarship is provided by the Educational Department in Karnataka.

  • Class 1 to 5: Rs.50/- per month
  • Class 6 to 10: Rs.100/- per month
  • 11th and 12th Standard (PUC): Rs.150/- per month
  • Degree: Rs.200/- per month
  • Professional courses and training: Rs.250/- per month
  • Post Graduate Degree: Rs.300/- per month

In Karnataka, Department of Education also provides a relaxation of certain subjects in secondary level for blind students. They may take special Humanities (Arts)

Apart from the above benefits, prize money is given to meritorious students to encourage their academic performance. A special seat reservation policy is provided for students with disabilities in many admission schemes, colleges and universities. Please check with the concerned institution/s before making your final choice.

Others : Postal Department - Payment of postage, both inland and foreign, for transportation by surface route only, is waived for all Blind Literature material. Periodicals and books printed in Braille or other special type for the use of the blind get classified as 'Blind Literature' packets.

Phone - 50% rental charges only are levied for BSNL connections availed by visually impaired people.. A 20% concession is provided in the usage charges of BSNL broadband service.