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Indian Railways – Putting Livelihoods of the Poor Back on Track

Work undertaken by the Indian Railways during the Corona crisis provides an exemplary model in every sense. In the initial stage, priority was put on ensuring food on the plates of the poor when the nation went into lockdown. Indian Railways played a crucial role in feeding the needy. Then, through Shramik trains it came to the rescue of migrant labourers who wanted to return their native places. Meanwhile, Railways prepared coaches for Corona treatment. It made the best use of initial lockdown period when the normal operations were shut by completing some 200 delayed projects.

Now when the nation is rebuilding livelihoods that took hit from the crisis, Indian Railways is again at the forefront in playing a role. Back in June, the government launched the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan which basically aimed at providing the labourers who returned to their natives by providing work opportunities in their own place.

Indian Railways has generated more than 6,40,000 man-days of work under Gareeb Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan in 6 States namely Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Around 165 Railway infrastructure projects are being executed in these states. Till August 21, 2020, 12,276 workers have been engaged in this Abhiyan and the payment of ₹1,410.35 crores has been released to the contractors for the projects being implemented.


The Railways undertook works across categories.

1) Construction and maintenance of approach roads for level crossings

2) Development & cleaning of silted waterways, trenches and drains along the track

3) Construction and maintenance of approach road to railway stations

4) Repair and widening of existing railway embankments/cuttings

5) Plantation of trees at the extreme boundary of railway land

6) Protection works of existing embankments/ cuttings/bridges


Thus, in the time of crisis, Indian Railways created both assets and helped in building the livelihoods of poor workers.