The social networking service Twitter turned out to be a ‘saviour’ for 27 students aboard the Howrah-bound Kumbha Express (12370). Responding to a request made on Twitter, the railways provided food and water to the students and teachers who were on a train that was running considerably late.
The students and teachers, who were on a school trip to Howrah, raised the demand for food via twitter and tagged railway minister Suresh Prabhu and Rail Ministry’s twitter account. The demand was raised after the train Kumbha Express was diverted due to maintenance work on the train’s route and they were left with no food and water for seven long hours.
“Sir plz arrange food for school students in train 12370 (B-1) becoz of 7 hours delay, route diverted, no pantry”—read the tweet of Amit K Narmoli, a teacher who was accompanying the students from ACM School, Dehradun. The tweet was made at 7.03pm.
It was no less than a surprise for the students and teachers on board when the ministry of railways responded to their tweet and asked them to mention their contact number and seat numbers. On conveying the desired information, the ministry further tweeted— “we have informed the divisional authority at Varanasi, they will arrange.”
The ministry further tagged the DRM (Divisional Railway Manager) Lucknow and general railway (GM) railway in the tweet.
Northern railway (NR) officials swung into action and rushed to Pratapgarh, where the train was said to be stationed. “Owing to the ongoing track doubling work between Shivnagar and Bandekala (13km stretch) near Sultanpur, the train was routed via Pratapgarh. By the time we ensured the food supplies at Pratapgarh, the train had left,” said Ajit Kumar Sinha, senior divisional commercial manager (DCM), Lucknow NR.
However, the train’s actual route was Moradabad-BareillyLucknow-Varanasi -Howrah.
Sinha said it was then that the officers and staff at Varanasi were informed about the arrival of the students. Officers managed to provide the food by 9.40pm. The supply was again followed by teacher Amit K Narmoli’s tweet— “thanks us provided food and packets and water on concession rates.” He also posted a selfie along with the children and officers.
It’s the third such incident in which the ministry has lent a helping hand to the passengers in need. In the first incident, it helped a woman passenger travelling alone in Maharashtra, who complained of harassment. In the second incident in November, the railways helped a passenger in getting a wheelchair for his ailing father, after he made a request via a tweet to the railway ministry.