Shahnawaz Akhtar, a passenger onboard the Howrah-Ranchi Shatabdi Express, was pleasantly surprised on Tuesday when iftar was offered to him on the train as he was about to break his Ramzan fast. While the IRCTC serves "Upwas Meals" during Navratri for Hindu passengers, no such service is available during Ramzan, an official said.
"Thank you #IndianRailways for the #Iftar. As soon as I boarded Howrah #Shatabdi at Dhanbad, I got my snacks. I requested the pantryman to bring tea little late as I am fasting. He confirmed by asking, aap roza hai? I nodded in yes. Later someone else came with iftar," Akhtar wrote on Twitter and also posted a photograph of the meal served to him on the train. IRCTC officials said the meal for Akhtar was arranged by the onboard catering manager personally.
"The staff was readying to break their fast and the passenger boarded the same coach. He told us he is fasting, so the staff shared their iftar with him. This is basic humanity," Prakash Kumar Behera, On-board Catering Supervisor, IRCTC, told PTI. The staff received accolades from netizens, who also pointed out that Akhtar should thank the staff on board and not the railways.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the ticketing, catering, and tourism arm of the railways, has introduced a special menu for the passengers during the Navratri festival. The dishes on the special menu are cooked without onion and garlic and are prepared with rock salt, a requirement for people observing the Navratri fast.
"The whole of Indian Railways family is touched by your comments and hope you had a good meal. This is a perfect example of how the government led by PM Modi works with the motto of Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas. Jai Hind," tweeted Darshana Jardosh, Minister of State for Railways. Muslims around the world are observing the Ramzan fast. Iftar is the nightly meal that marks the breaking of the fast.