So, this happened today. I was returning from Chennai to Bangalore on Shatabdi Express at 6 AM. I was in the AC Chair Car compartment. After settling down, I noticed that the foot rest for few seats including mine were faulty. I was exhausted after the last couple of days travel and a sleepless night at the railway station. This faulty foot rest was enough to not let me doze off for some time in the morning. I checked with the staff onboard the train about the situation and they responded saying nothing can be done about it and the foot rest has been in this condition for some time now.
I decided to try tweeting to the Railway Ministry’s official twitter handle to try my luck. I tweeted giving details of the issue and train and coach number. Within 30 minutes, I got a reply saying the issue has been escalated and the Divisional Railway Manager of Southern Railway was looped in the conversation. In less than an hour, two railway staff walked up to me and informed me they are following up on the complaint received on Twitter. They apologized to me for the inconvenience and requested me to switch to a different seat with a proper foot rest. I was pleasantly surprised by the amazing turn around time and courtesy of the staff. Before leaving, they requested me to tweet and inform the DRM that the issue has been resolved. 🙂
Though I’ve read and shared many similar stories by the Indian Railways management and staff in recent times, this one is special as it is a personal experience. And I must mention at this point that I was traveling on a tatkal ticket that I booked on my mobile! This was unimaginable till some time back. And I was in fact in a cab to the railway station to book the tatkal ticket in person as I wasn’t confident whether it would work online!
Hats off to Suresh Prabhu sir and team for all their efforts to transform the Indian Railways! This is good governance. This is #AchcheDin.