On March 29, 2017, the very unique C3-A/C Coach of the Panchavati Express popularly known as ‘Adarsh’ coach, observed its 10th anniversary.
According to a The Hindu report, the occasion was marked with celebrations at both Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in Mumbai and at Nashik station, that were attended by more than a thousand passengers who regularly take this train to travel from Nashik to Mumbai.
What is so special about the ‘Adarsh’ coach?
The ‘Adarsh’ coach of Panchavati Express, that runs between Mumbai and Manmad in Nashik district, is maintained by its passengers who go all out to ensure that the coach is cleanest and most organised among all the coaches that the Indian Railways runs. The passengers’ efforts have been lauded by the Limca Year Book, where they have been mentioned thrice.
The passengers of ‘Adarsh’ coach, that only allows entry to monthly season ticket holders, make sure they switch off lights when they are not required, don’t litter and conduct regular pest control. The coach is also equipped with a first-aid box, a lost-and-found box and a diary that contains names of its daily commuters, reports The Hindu.
In order to maintain discipline on coach premises, the passengers diligently observe a set of rules including ban on alcohol, tobacco, and card-playing. They must also stick to the activities assigned to the four sessions that the journey on the train is divided into. The activities include newspaper reading, meditating, eating, conversing and answering personal calls.
The ‘Adarsh’ coach was allotted on the Panchavati express in 2007 after a decade-long fight by the MST holders pursuing a dedicated coach.
One of the MST holders from Nashik, Bipin Gandhi, with the aim of achieving a chaos-free travel by trains, founded an NGO called Rail Parishad in 2001 and spent the next few years working towards developing a systematic coach.
Bipin told the Times of India, that the journey towards attaining a special coach for MST holders was not an easy one with the railway authorities insisting that the number of MST holders (44) were too less for an entire coach to be dedicated to them.
“We got 417 MST holders for the first time in the history of the train to get a permanent C3 coach for us at the cost of a coach in Pragati Express.” Bipin said.
The Adarsh coach currently has 400 members and about 50 of them have been awarded with certificates of loyalty for being members for all 10 years.
The Rail Parishad celebrates birthdays. anniversaries and even hosts receptions for the newly-weds in the train. In 2001, regular passengers from Nashik, Shyam and Sarika Jadhav, got married in the coach with over 100 attendees and a pundit performing the rituals.
The event was recognised by the Limca Year Book as the first ever wedding ceremony in a train coach in India.
The coach has got into the record book on two other occasions – in 2012 for its exemplary cleanliness and in 2015, when its passengers wrote 100 letters to the Indian Railways and got acknowledged for each letter.
(Feature image source: Indianrailinfo)