Opinions

Shouldn’t the railways automatically assign lower berths for senior citizens

Mommy Dearest came to Pune on 12 March, 2017 evening 4:45 PM IST. She was in Bangalore with my Darling Sister. On 11 March,2017 night she boarded Trivandrum-Mumbai express from Krishnarajapuram also known as KRPuram.

Her health was in bad shape as she was suffering from cold, cough and congestion. I had booked her ticket online via  irctc.co.in. , its the Indian railways website.She is a senior citizen aged 63 years. Instead of giving her a lower berth, they gave her an upper berth.

I told her to tell the Ticket Checker to reassign a lower berth. When a senior citizen is  traveling alone and if that person is not assertive and does not know to speak Hindi or English , it becomes difficult for the traveler. So why don’t the Railways automatically assign a lower berth?

Fortunately, the Ticket Checker was a nice person and he allotted the side lower berth to her. However, the next morning, a family got in from Sholapur railway station and told her that she has to move from there, as they had a small kid and they had to travel up to Mumbai.

Mommy dearest told them that they should speak to the Ticket Checker and its no use shouting at her. Somehow that issue was resolved and the journey was smoother. This issue could have been avoided if they had issued her a lower berth right from the beginning.

She order lunch of rice, sambhar and vegetable curry at the pantry. She also asked for some curd. Unfortunately, the vendor was not able to provide that. So he gave her 2 eggs along with the food at no cost. This shows the humanity still exists.

The train was delayed by 15-20 minutes. By 4:45 she reached the station. We were home by 5:45 PM, IST. Overall it was not a bad journey but it could have been a pleasant one if she was allotted a lower berth at the time of booking her ticket. Why have they not allotted a quota for senior citizens who book at the last moment.

What India needs is good infra-structure at affordable cost. Majority of the Indians are not rich or wealthy, they are under-privileged and for them rail is the cheapest mode of transportation. I believe for next few decades we don’t need bullet or fast trains at the cost of our agricultural land. Or Do we?

Re-innovate the old trains to transform it into better ones, to make it easier for all classes to travel.

Think and brainstorm whether you need to pledge your agricultural land for fast trains or you want to eat good and healthy food from the Indian agricultural land.

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