In our fight to contain spread of COVID-19 , nationwide lockdown is imposed and Indian railways has cancelled all its passenger carrying trains. The Railway is running freight trains and time tabled Parcel Special services ensuring seamless supply chain of foodgrains, cereals, medicines and medical equipments and other essential commodities.
On the other hand, Officers and Staff of various departments and Divisional units of Southern Railway have gone beyond their call of duty and are exhibiting exemplary kindness in helping the people in need. NGOs and good Samaritans also have joined hands with Railway staff and are contributing generously to the cause. Railway employees have been helping needy persons like Coolie Porters, conservancy Staff, mobile catering unit staff, prepaid auto drivers and other casual workers whose livelihood is dependent on Railways.
In Chennai Division, employees pitched in to pool funds from voluntary contributions and handed over relief kits to needy persons on various dates at Dr MGR Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Katpadi and Jolarpettai.
At Dr MGR Chennai Central, Station officials and other staff, Volunteers and Sri Rajendra Saraswati Jain Trust and Chennai Jains’ Trust funded and handed over a total of 822 relief kits to 126 Licenced Coolie Porters of Chennai central, house keeping staff, other contract staff, mobile catering staff among others.
At Chennai Egmore on various dates, a total of 635 dry ration kits were handed over to various needy persons that includes 90 beneficiaries from Coolie Porter category. Prepaid auto/cab drivers, contract cleaning staff and box loading boys also benefitted. Besides voluntary funding by Railway officials, Ramakrishna Mutt and Sathya Sai Trust funded and distributed relief kits to needy persons at Chennai Egmore Railway station. The relief kits comprised of rice, wheat, dhall, oil and other groceries.
Similarly Dry ration kits were given away by Railway staff at Katpadi and Jolarpettai of which 28 porters and 40 other contract staff benefitted.
In Madurai Division, staff of Commercial department such as TTEs, Commercial Clerks, Commercial Inspectors, ECRCs, Ministerial staff and Group D staff magnanimously contributed and arranged for distribution of 415 grocery kits with Rice, Wheat, Dhal, sugar,oil and other essentials across various stations. A total of 130 porters and 285 other needy persons including vendors, contract staff and migrant workers benefitted.
In Thiruvananthapuram Division, Divisional employees generously contributed to support 371 porters of various stations, 18 Station ticket Booking agents and 28 halt agents with a cash relief of Rs.2000 each. A total of 417 persons benefitted from the move.
In Palakkad Division, 246 beneficiaries including 72 porters working at various stations under the division and other contract staff, apprentices and migrant workers received Grocery kits comprising rice, atta, sugar, vegetables, etc. Funds were pooled from voluntary contributions of Railway staff.
In Salem Division, a total of 74 coolie porters at Salem, Coimbatore, Erode and Tiruppur were given Dry ration kits comprising of rice, cooking oil and other groceries.
This distribution is being carried out on a weekly basis or at regular intervals so that none face any shortage of food items anytime during this lockdown.
In Trichy Division, IRCTC had included coolie porters and contract staff of Trichy station in their meal distribution programme as beneficiaries.
Southern Railway is proud of its good Samaritan staff who are rendering yeomen service to the society in these testing times upto 27-4-2020.