A handicapped railway peon with Eastern Railways has entered the names of about 10,000 recruits operating a computer with his feet.
Nimai Chandra Mondal, a peon with Asansol Division of Eastern Railways, was born without hands and joined the Railways in 2001 as a peon after graduating with honours in political science.
Mondal was felicitated during the 52nd Railway Week celebrations in Kolkata on Thursday evening in the presence of Minister of state for Railways R Velu and General Manager NK Goel.
"I was born without hands. I run computers with my feet," Mondal, employed in the personnel department, said.
"The initial years were hard. I was made to do manual work like serving drinking water or moving files which were obviously difficult," he said.
Things, however, began to change after Mondal was transferred to Asansol in 2003. "I am particularly grateful to our senior Divisional Personnel Officer Sujit Mishraji for his help. It was with his encouragement that I got the chance to work with computers."
Mondal also expressed gratitude to the Asansol Divisional Railway Manager AK Rawal. "I like to serve the country. Just as a soldier in the armed forces serves his country by doing his job, I want to do mine well. By serving the Railways, I am serving the country in a way. I want to prove that even the physically challenged can contribute to the development of the country," he said.
ER's Chief Public Relations Officer Soumitra Majumder is delighted with Mondal's achievement. "I am glad that he was called to the felicitation. During Railway Week, we take the opportunity to acknowledge people like him who generally remain out of the limelight, but keep the Railways running."
Altogether 11 ER staff, including three officers, have been nominated for the highest awards of the Indian Railways, to be given by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav during the Railway Week celebrations at Secundrabad tomorrow, he said.
Stating that the Indian Railways have made a profit of Rs 20,000 crore with freight and passenger traffic growing by 9.5 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively, Velu said that these achievements were due to the sincere efforts of all levels of railway employees.
General Manager of Eastern Railway NK Goel gave details of its operations, including earnings, loadings and ongoing projects.