A video portraying two women Traveling Ticket Examiners (TTEs) has been widely shared online with a misleading assertion that they are the loco pilots of Vande Bharat Express. However, India TV's Fact Check team has debunked these claims, confirming that both women are TTEs with the Indian Railways and not loco pilots.
The video in question shows the two women walking on a railway platform towards a train while Bollywood music plays in the background. A caption on Facebook accompanies the video, reading, "Vande Bharat Train Loco Pilots Crew... Could you have ever imagined this amazing scene? From the coal-fired engine drivers to this airline-style engine crew... The new Bharat. Incredible Bharat."
Upon investigation, the India TV Fact Check team identified the women in the video as Shijina Rajan and Diana Selvan, both working as TTEs in the Indian Railways. A reverse image search led to the same video being uploaded on Instagram on September 24 by a user named Shijina Rajan (@travelling_tte). Rajan's profile clearly states that she is a TTE with the Indian Railways and showcases various videos and photos from her work experience.
Additionally, a YouTube video titled 'Athlete TTEs of Vande Bharat,' uploaded on April 25, 2023, features Shijina Rajan and the second TTE seen in the viral video. In this video, they are introduced as TTEs, and Diana, the second woman, mentions her name. The video humorously suggests that former sportspersons have been hired as TTEs in the Vande Bharat Express due to its high-speed nature. Notably, the viral video's thumbnail shows 'Trivandrum Division' written on the lanyards of the TTEs.
Further research led to a Kerala Kamudi article from April 26, 2023, titled 'First day of Vande Bharat brings another fame for athlete Padmini Thomas.' The article features Diana John Selvan, also known as Diana Selvan, who is the daughter of Indian athlete Padmini Thomas and the late athlete John Selvan. Diana retired from athletics and joined the Indian Railways as a TTE six years ago. The article highlights her involvement in the initial run of the Vande Bharat Express in Kerala.
In conclusion, the viral claims misidentifying the TTEs as loco pilots are false, and both individuals featured in the video are Traveling Ticket Examiners with the Indian Railways.