New ATMs for differently-abled will make transactions easier | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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New ATMs for differently-abled will make transactions easier

mumbai Updated: Jul 07, 2012 01:48 IST
Mugdha Variyar

Tilak Joshi, 21, a student of St Xavier’s College in Dhobi Talao was unable to use an automatic teller machine (ATM) without assistance until now.

But from Saturday, vision-impaired people such as Joshi will be able to withdraw cash from an ATM on their own.

The Union Bank of India (UBI) will launch a fully accessible, speech-enabled, bilingual ATM in Thane’s Passport office on Saturday for differently-abled people. It will be the first such ATM in the city.

“UBI is the first bank in the country to deploy fully-accessible ATMs to help the differently-abled make transactions independently,” said Lalit Sinha, general manager, UBI.

By September, 50 machines will be installed in passport offices across the country.

The facility will also have a ramp for wheelchair-bound persons, a guide path on the floor to direct the vision-impaired towards the machine, Braille guide labels on the machine, and complete step-wise voice guidance through headphones. Users can opt for voice guidance in English or Hindi.

In 2008-09, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued guidelines to all banks to make at least one-third of all new ATMs accessible to the vision-impaired through voice guidance and Braille keypads.

“The inclusion of guidance in Hindi will also facilitate financial inclusion for the country’ semi-literate and illiterate population,” said Dr Sam Taraporevala, director, Xavier's Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged, which tested the machines.