“I didn’t ask them to run the train for me. I just questioned the authorities about how the train ended up on the wrong route. I stood up for my rights and the rights of every other passenger on that train.”
Ananya Choudhary, an undergraduate law student from Ranchi, single-handedly took on the Railway authorities on Thursday, 3 September, after they truncated the trip of Delhi-Rajdhani Express due to “track agitation” and asked the passengers to catch buses from the Daltonganj station.
Eight hours after she put her foot down and refused to take a bus or a cab until she was offered a written explanation from the authorities, Ananya got the Railways to run the Rajdhani Express for 300km with her as the lone passenger.
यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत ।— Ananya Choudhary (@NormalHumanAna1) September 3, 2020
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम्॥
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम्।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥ #Covid_19 @pendamic& Ranchi to Delhi is connected by a single train #CovidspRajdhani this is the view at Daltonganj pic.twitter.com/dFYBGK0oEk
The train was stranded at Daltonganj station, 300 km away, for several hours due to an ongoing agitation. Over 250 Tana Bhagats were agitating at the Tori Junction.
Ananya, who was returning from Varanasi, kept talking to officials and tweeting until 3 pm when the Railways gave in. An hour later, the train began rolling with Ananya as the only passenger. The route diversion increased the distance to Ranchi from 200 km to 300 km and she reached Ranchi around 2 am on Friday, 4 September – hours after the scheduled arrival time.
In videos posted by Ananya on Twitter – narrating her ordeal – she says, “I just wanted the railway authorities to give me a written reply on how did the train end up on the wrong route. People bought tickets of an expensive train like the Rajdhani Express to prevent the coronavirus infection and in return, they were asked to travel by buses without any explanation.”
Real Side of the passenger traveling to DDU to Rnc via New Delhi Ranchi covidsp train @I STAND AGAINST WRONG! just wanted a written response by the legally involved administration of the act Of putting the life in danger of 929 passenger @I said I m representing All the Passenger pic.twitter.com/zt7mEaijaG— Ananya Choudhary (@NormalHumanAna1) September 5, 2020
She further mentions that when she raised her voice, the authorities asked her and other passengers in her bogey to not go by bus and offered to arrange cabs for them. “After I objected to buses, they offered to arrange for cabs. Isn’t this a form of bribery? Did I raise my voice because I wanted to travel in a cab instead of a bus?” Ananya said in a video shared on Twitter.
‘Rajdhani Had to Be Taken to Ranchi Anyway’: Railway Authorities
Reacting to the incident, the railway authorities told The Telegraph that the train had to be taken to Ranchi anyway at some point so that it could start its return journey on Sunday.
Quoting Dhanbad railway division spokesperson P K Mishra, The Telegraph report mentioned that the bi-weekly train was diverted through the Gomoh-Bokaro route as the train was to leave for New Delhi from Ranchi on Sunday.
"“If the agitation continues till Sunday, the train will again travel on a diverted route via Bokaro-Gomoh towards Delhi.”" - P K Mishra told The Telegraph‘You Give Us Hope’: Netizens Applaud Ananya
Several users including actor Swara Bhasker took to Twitter to congratulate Ananya for refusing to budge even after she was told that there isn’t the slightest chance of the train running.
Whoa!! - "she refused to budge from her seat even when official after official derisively told her she hadn’t a ghost of a chance. It was 3pm when the railways gave in. An hour later, the train began rolling with Ananya as the lone passenger" https://t.co/whL7b9IdPM pic.twitter.com/ILnMahxuT5— Karthik (@beastoftraal) September 5, 2020
My dad worked for railways for 33 years and hence I’m very closely connected to the #IndianRailways— bla-lita♀️ (@blalita0310) September 5, 2020
It just hurts me to the core to see the inefficiency of @RailMinIndia in providing better service to the people.
So proud of @NormalHumanAna1 for standing up against wrong! https://t.co/rm1BBbwjS4
. Read more on India by The Quint.‘My Right’: Ranchi Girl on Making Railways Run Rajdhani for HerLatest News: Railways to Start Computer Based Testing from 15 Dec . Read more on India by The Quint.