In a bid to promote sports in the country, Union Minister for Railways Pawan Kumar Bansal announced complimentary card passes for sportspersons in his maiden Rail Budget 2013-14.
The move was appreciated by the sports fraternity of Ludhiana.
Bansal said that the railways had put a sterling performance in different sports events both nationally and globally. The railways won nine national championships in 2012 while the Railway Sports Promotion Board was awarded the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar in 2012.
The mention of railway staff Sushil Kumar, who won a silver medal in the Men's 66kg freestyle wrestling event at the 2012 London Olympics, was appreciated in the House amid thumping of desk by the members.
Arjuna awardee Sajjan Singh Cheema who plays basketball said, "I am very happy that someone took notice of our efforts and hard work and gave the much-deserved respect to sportspersons who have attained this honour. It is a useful perk as each person likes to travel in clean yet fast trains."
Cheema further said, "It is a good initiative as such perks boost youngsters to perform well in sports. Earlier I did not avail the perk of travelling in normal trains and used to buy tickets from my own pocket, but now I recently travelled in the Rajdhani free of cost and did not face any problem."
Surinder Sodhi who is also an Arjuna awardee for playing hockey says, "It is a good initiative by Indian Railways and I am happy that they entitled sportspersons for good and fast trains such as Rajdhani Express."
Concessions for sportspersons
1) Complimentary card passes to recipients of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna & Dhyan Chand Awards to be valid for travel by 1st Class/2nd AC.
2) Complimentary card passes to Olympic Medalists and Dronacharya Awardees for travel in Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains.
3) Travel by Duront o Trains permitted on all card passes issued to sportpersons having facility of travel by Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains.
4) Facility of complimentary card passes valid in 1st class/2nd AC extended to parents of posthumous unmarried awardees of Mahavir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chak ra, President's Police Medal for Gallantry and
Police Medal for Gallantry
Police Gallantry awardees to be granted one complimentary pass every year for travel along with one companion in 2nd AC in Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains. Passes for freedom fighters to be renewed once in three years.
For more details, read tomorrow's Hindustantimes