Indian Railways is working 24×7 to supply vegetables, fruits, pulses, medicines, masks and other essential items amidst coronavirus lockdown.

Conversion of railway coaches into isolation wards is an ingenious method to provide healthcare facilities to potential COVID-19 patients.

Let us see how Indian Railways proved to be a lifesaver in times of this global emergency:

 Transportation of food items

Role of Indian Railways in ensuring easy transportation of various food items in times of lockdown deserve praise and commendation from us, Indians. According to a press release by the Ministry of Railways, from 1st to 22nd April, Indian Railways transported 45.8 lakh tons of food grains.

It has further ensured that farm products like food grains are picked up on time and supplied to needy people during the nationwide lockdown. The loading, transportation and unloading of essential supplies has been going on in full swing during the lockdown period. Indian Railways has collaborated with Ministry of Agriculture for successful completion of this task.

 Supplying Medicines

Indian Railways is playing a pertinent role in transporting medicines to people during lockdown. A Canada-based NRI, presently in Ludhiana, lauded Central Railways in coordinating & ensuring delivery of his essential medicines from Nagpur to Ludhiana, even in the absence of a direct train between the two stations.

Western Railway transported essential medicines from Ahmedabad to Ratlam, urgently required by a child after his liver transplant. The child posted a thanks-giving handwritten letter on Twitter saying: ‘I am glad that Indian Railways has all the facilities for their citizens in this difficult time – Indian Railways are the best’.

Read more: Breakfast Babble: It’s Inspiring To See My Apartment Step Up To Help Domestic Staff During COVID-19 Lockdown

Free food distribution at Railway stations

Indian Railways has stepped up to feed India and is providing healthy and nutritious cooked food to various categories of needy people at 25 locations.

The distribution of the lunch meals at stations is being done by the RPF (Railway Protection Force) officials . Currently, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) has base kitchens in

  • Katihar,
  • Rajendranagar,
  • Sealdah,
  • Howrah,
  • Prayagraj,
  • Jhansi,
  • Kanpur,
  • New Delhi,
  • Paharganj,
  • Mumbai Central,
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus,
  • Pune,
  • Sholapur,
  • Bhusawal,
  • Itarsi,
  • Ahmedabad,
  • Khurdha Road,
  • Balasore,
  • Vijaywada,
  • Bangalore,
  • Hubli,
  • Thiruvananthapuram,
  • Chengalpattu,
  • Katpadi and
  • Mangalore.

 Strict rules for catering units

Catering personnel have been asked to take care of their personal hygiene as per FSSAI’s food safety norms/standards. It is compulsory for them to wear hand gloves, headgear, a facemask, etc. during cooking and other related tasks.

They need to wash their hands more frequently and avoid touching their eyes, nose, etc. A mandate issued asks them to frequently sanitize tables, chairs, and stall frames by using Dettol, Lifebuoy, and Colin.

Staff members with symptoms such as cough, fever, difficulty in breathing or runny nose were forbidden entry. Entry of outsiders in cooking kitchens is also disallowed.

Setting up of isolation wards

To increase the country’s capacity to provide medical facilities, Indian Railways has turned its train coaches into quarantine hubs. This will provide relief to hospitals overloaded with patients. Railways have up-scaled manufacturing of Personal Protective Equipment while adhering to strict quality controls.

 Use of state-of-the art technology

To improve its efficiency, Indian Railways has decided to update its technology. New and modern 9000 HP Freight Loco of Railways recently cleared its trial run.

 Indian Railways welcomes public queries

Railway Emergency Cell for COVID was set up to give a swift response to people regarding the running of Railways. RailMadad Helpline 139 answered over 2,30,000 queries on a one-on-one basis in the first four weeks of the lockdown, in addition to queries answered by its IVRS facility.

People are gradually recognizing the role of Railway officials in the smooth running of the country by ensuring efficient freight movement. Thus, social media is full of appreciation for Indian Railway’s efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and ensuring easy procurement of essentials. It is definitely a lifesaver for the nation.

Image credits: Google Images

Sources: Times of India, Economic Times and Press Release by the Ministry of Railways

Find the blogger: @lisa_tay_ari

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