GOODS SAMARITAN
India Today|May 18, 2020
MOHAMMAD SHAKIR RAZA, 41 FREIGHT TRAIN DRIVER, New Delhi. COVID DEED Transports essential supplies during the national lockdown
Anilesh S. Mahajan

It was an exciting journey for Mohammad Shakir Raza, a freight train driver based out of New Delhi. He was set to drive his train to his home town, Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, where he would pass the baton on to his co-driver, who would then operate the train on the next leg of its journey, to Malda in West Bengal. Carrying a load of essential goods, Raza says he feels proud to drive his train from state to state, providing an essential service at a time when the nation is in lockdown.

He knows that his job is especially dangerous in these times. “Our families are also worried,” he says, “especially when they listen to the news about COVID-19 infections spreading to various places. They want us to stay home and protect ourselves.” Nonetheless, he knows how important his job is. “The spirit of serving the nation keeps us going,” he adds. To protect its employees, the Indian Railways has made it mandatory for all active staff to wear masks and gloves, and has provided supplies of sanitisers as well. Once Raza’s kit has been used up, he can get another at the next station.

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