Train journeys have just become sweeter for diabetics.
The initiative of the Indian Railways to serve diabetic meals on board has become popular across the country prompting most diabetics not to carry their own food.
“We are accepting a huge number of orders from diabetics across all trains that have pantry cars. Response in indeed pretty good on Rajdhanis, Satabdis and Durontos where meal service on board is mandatory,” said an Eastern Railway spokesperson.
The railway authorities planned to introduce special diet for diabetic passengers on recommendation of the Passenger Services Committee (PSC), headed by Derek O’ Brian, which was formed when Mamata Banerjee was railway minister.
“Apart from normal meals, diabetics also get the option of choosing tailor-made snacks. In fact, they get a spread of diabetic continental dishes on board Rajdhani, Satabdi and Duronto.
Passengers only need to inform what they want to have when the pantry superintendent comes to take the order,” the spokesperson added.
India is reckoned to be the diabetes capital of the world with an estimated 50.8 million diabetics, more than the entire population of Spain.
“We are very careful about diabetic food and are carrying raw vegetables and ingredients ideal for diabetic patients on every pantry car. In fact, quantity of food consumed is very important for a diabetic patient and we give special attention on serving the exact quantity. Such services are also popular in South-bound trains of South Eastern railways that carry a huge number of patients,” said a senior IRCTC official.
There is huge variety of sugar-free food available on board.
At present, the railway officials are providing passengers with sugar-free juice, tea, coffee and boiled vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.
Besides, they are serving cholesterol-free food items for heart patients like fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-spice food prepared with salt and pepper.
For breakfast, they are also providing cholesterol-free butter.
“For years, I had to carry my own meals with me. There were occasions when I found that meals had turned stale by the time I wanted to have them. Now, I can have fresh prepared food on board,” said Sabita Choudhury a diabetic patient.