A journey on Rajdhani or Duronto has just become sweeter for diabetics.
Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has started providing sugar-free food items to diabetes patients and the health conscious travelling on Rajdhani Express (12310/12309) and Duronto Express (22214/22213).
A senior officer of IRCTC, Patna office, told The Telegraph: Keeping the need of health conscious people in mind, we started the service from yesterday (Tuesday). People can now enjoy sugar-free food on the two trains.
The officer added: Many times we receive complaints from passengers that people suffering from diabetes do not get food according to their wish. This leads to confrontation with the catering staff. So we thought of starting the service on the Rajdhani and the Duronto.
Though all Rajdhani travellers could avail the service, the facility would be restricted for those travelling on Duronto.
The officer said: All passengers travelling in Rajdhani Express can place order for sugar-free food items. But those travelling in AC 1st class of Duronto Express can only enjoy the facility. The passengers do not have to shell out extra money for the service, as the amount is already added to the ticket price.
He added: This is for the first time that the corporation has taken such an initiative. We expect a positive response, as there are people who look for sugar-free diet while travelling. Normally, it is not possible to get such diet on platforms, resulting in passengers depending on certain fruits.
On the variety of sugar-free food that would be available on board, he said: At present, we are providing the passengers with sugar-free juice, tea, coffee and boiled vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Besides, we are serving cholesterol-free food items for heart patients like fruits, vegetables, legumes and low spice food prepared with salt and pepper. For breakfast, we provide them with cholesterol-free butter.
The railways have taken serious consideration of these issues. I think it would be beneficial for passengers who need such service, the official added.
Apart from these items, IRCTC would provide specially cooked items to passengers on the two trains. Food cooked without garlic and onion are also being provided.
On the number of passengers looking for sugar-free food, the official said: The number keeps fluctuating. We dont have the exact count of people demanding sugar-free food.
Expressing happiness over the service, Sushant Singh, a resident of Anand Puri who has been suffering from diabetes for quite some time, said: I am really happy to hear this. Now I can look for sugar-free food on the trains. This was not possible earlier. I always used to ask my wife to prepare something for me, as a sugar-free diet was not available while travelling on trains. I have faced problems. But this is a great initiative by the railways. It is a boon for people like me.