Masseurs in trains to undergo police verification
The divisional railway manager (DRM), Ratlam, RN Sunkar, who proposed the idea of engaging masseurs in trains to ministry of railways to increase revenue, said on Monday that the masseurs would have to undergo a medical examination and a police verification and maintain proper hygiene to provide massage service to the passengers.
In a first in railways, the service will be introduced in Ratlam division as of now. An Indore based agency Calypso has been hired for the same, according to the DRM.
“There are do’s and don’ts the masseurs will have to follow. Besides identity cards they will have to carry with them a rate list too to show to the passengers who want to avail the service,” Sunkar said.
For instance, he said, “If a passenger wants a head massage he will have to pay Rs 100. There is an equal amount to be paid for foot massage. The masseurs can provide an oil massage too for which a passenger will have to pay up to Rs 300 subject to cost of oil. There are three packages- Rs 100, Rs 200 and Rs 300 for the massage. However, a full body massage can’t be availed. “There will be no massage service from 10 pm to 6 am,” he said.
Sunkar said he was receiving a slew of phone calls from other railways divisions as well as passengers who wanted to know more about the service and how he plans to implement it. The higher authorities in railways had appreciated him for his innovative idea, he said.
He said the agency Calypso based at Indore hired for the job was training the masseurs at present. The service might be introduced in 15 to 20 days. There would be three to four masseurs in one train. As many as 39 long distance trains originating from Indore would have this service.
He said the railways would allow the masseurs agency to go ahead with its service only after depositing of Rs 20 lakh for the annual contract. Approximately, the railways would also earn an additional Rs 90 lakh annual revenue from these masseurs as they would have to buy tickets to travel in the trains. Their telephone numbers would be displayed in the trains to help passengers contact them.
A Bhopal based social activist Kamal Rathi said, “Besides berths in trains railways passengers need a safe journey, hygienic food and clean toilets, potable water and cleanliness at railway stations, check on loot by vendors who charge exorbitant rates for food items etc.”