healthy bites: Rajdhani Express will soon serve food for diabetic passengers
Here’s some sweet news for diabetic train passengers.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is likely to dish out sugar-free diet on board the Ranchi-Delhi Rajdhani Express at no extra cost from the last week of November.
The facility, which is likely to benefit more than 100 passengers in the capital on any given day, was introduced in Rajdhani and Duronto services from Patna in the first week of October. Ranchi is, currently, waiting for a formal nod from its zonal headquarters in Calcutta.
“Passengers who are diabetic cannot eat meals normally served on board trains. So, they carry their own. To save them this hassle, the railways have decided to ready sugar-free grub in the Rajdhani pantry,” an official said.
According to rough statistics, the average number of passengers travelling on board a long-distance train from or via Ranchi on any given day is around 1,200. At least 10 per cent of them would prefer sugar-free diet.
So, once the plan receives formal approval, the special menu will include sugar-free sweets, juices, non-starchy boiled vegetables like papaya, omelette made of egg white, cornflakes with milk, et al. The plan is to start the healthy fare from the last week of November, he added.
In Patna, the railway benevolence came as a festive gift. Passengers of Rajdhani and Duronto are offered sugar-free juices, tea, coffee and boiled vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Besides these, the IRCTC is serving up cholesterol-free food to benefit passengers with cardiac ailments. The special menu includes fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-spice food prepared with salt and pepper. For breakfast, cholesterol-free butter is on offer.
The icing on the cake is that passengers do not have to shell out an extra penny for these special meals. Charges are included in the train fare.
“We have heard of the plan to introduce sugar-free food for diabetic passengers on trains. However, a circular from the zonal office in this regard is yet to arrive. We are expecting the same in a next few days though,” said an official of Ranchi railway division.
Passenger associations have welcomed the move, but want the railways to introduce the facility on board other trains too. “It is an excellent initiative, which should not be restricted to elite trains. Every train that has a pantry car should offer sugar-free food,” said Sajjan Sarraf, a member of the Zonal Railway Users’ Consultative Committee and former president of Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries, who is himself a diabetic.
The committee wants the sugar-free scheme to be introduced on board Dhanbad-Alleppey Express, Hatia-Yeswantpur Lokmanya Tilak Express, Maurya Express and Hatia-Patna Express among others.