The Indian railways came in for some rare accolades after a series of brickbats on Sunday when they responded to a tweet and provided an oxygen cylinder to a passenger having respiratory problems due to lung infection.
Shajahan Khatoon (35), who was on supplemental oxygen support, had boarded the Guwahati-Delhi North East Express from Mansi junction in Bihar’s Khagaria district along with three of her family members late on Saturday.
Soon, they realised that they were low on oxygen and contacted a Patna-based friend, Sandip Sandilya, who in turn tweeted the railway ministry for help.
The railway ministry promptly asked the divisional railway manager, Allahabad, to “provide medical help”.
Within an hour of Sandilya’s tweet, the senior divisional commercial manager, Allahabad, reverted to him, stating that a “doctor will attend at Kanpur railway station”.
“Though the doctor was not there at the Kanpur station, the railways did arrange for an oxygen cylinder,” said Sandilya.
“The request was for oxygen cylinder, which we provided to the passenger,” divisional commercial manager, Allahabad, PK Sharma, said.
On why they couldn’t provide help at Allahabad Junction, he said by the time they received the message at 11.58 am from the railway ministry, the train had left the station (at 11.46 am). “We immediately relayed the information to Kanpur, where the train reached at 3.52 pm (late by over three hours) and the oxygen cylinder was provided.”
The train had a minute’s scheduled stop at Fatehpur, between Allahabad and Kanpur.
Khatoon’s brother, Shahnawaz Khan, told HT over phone, “My sister has been admitted to the intensive care unit of Metro hospital in Faridabad and her condition is better.”
Khatoon’s husband, Moinuddin, runs a small sweet shop near the bus stand in Bihar’s Madhepura district.
Prior to the September 29 stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone railway station foot-over-bridge that killed 23 people, at least eight incidents of trains jumping the tracks have been reported in the country so far this year.