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Serving cold water to railway passengers in summer heat Phagwara 21 June

Serving cold water to railway passengers in summer heat Phagwara 21 June
June 27
11:50 2019

JASWANT SINGH GANDAM / RAMAN NEHRA
India Post News Service

PHAGWARA: In the blazing summer months of June and July, when the mercury soars to over 45 degrees Celsius, glasses of icy cold water come as nectar for thirsty parched lips of railway passengers.
Volunteers of NGO Janata Seva Samiti, Phagwara, have been doing this exactly since the last 33 years at local railway station!

They serve cold water daily to passengers travelling by trains (and others too).
At a time when many drought-hit parts of the country are facing serious problems of potable water scarcity and when unscrupulous elements are selling water at whopping prices at various places, the Samiti serves it all free of cost.

Phagwara is situated on the mainline and dozens of trains halt here daily on their way to Jalandhar, Amritsar, Jammu Tawi on the up line and Ludhiana, Ambala, and New Delhi on the down line, besides a few on branch lines to Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur.

Phagwara railway station is a junction and has three platforms.
Volunteers serve water on all the three.
Vipin Khurana, president, and Malkiat Singh Ragbotra, patron, of Janata Seva Samiti that organizes this service, told India Post that it was the 33rd year of ‘jal seva’.
“About Rs 4 lakh is spent every year on it and the money comes from donations by philanthropists, especially Gurdeep Singh Sihra of GNA Group, Ashish Gupta of Ashish Continental, Tarsem Batra of Frontier Cloth House, and Munish Batra of Laxami Cloth House ”, they said.

“Besides, Sushil Sudhir of Sudhir Sweets supply 10-12 kg milk daily free of cost to the Samiti for its second simultaneous humanitarian year-long project of serving milk to indoor patients in local civil hospital,” they said.
Activists of Khatri Samaj Welfare Society,(Regd) Phagwara, led by its President Raman Nehra, play a stellar role in serving water.
“Hundreds of glasses of water are served daily by 50-60 volunteers to passengers inside and outside trains,” they said.

“We don’t count the number of glasses served but 25 huge water tubs are used daily with eight big blocs of ice mixed in them”, they informed.
“Ice alone costs us Rs 2,400 daily”, they said.
“Rs 60,000-70,000 are spent every year on buying plastic glasses for this five-month-long social service project running from May to September,” they informed.
“A large number of glasses get broken or go missing. We have to purchase more. Those remaining intact are reused.” They said that 12 ‘rehris’(push-carts) were pressed into service for carrying water.

Two ROs are also installed for distilling water. But mostly, tap water is served. But meticulous care is taken for hygiene and cleanliness of tap water and glasses.
Lauding the Samiti’s humanitarian act, a passenger, Sukh Simran Singh, travelling to New Delhi, said that ‘Jal Seva’ was a ‘punn da kamm’ (a noble deed) and it has a divine angle to it in our religions, society and ‘Sanskriti’.

A woman passenger, Anudeep Goraya, mother of two girls Japneet and Nimrit, was all praise for the organizers who she thanked profusely for the noble act.
Her husband Manwinder Singh Goraya appreciated the cleanliness in particular.

It is said that ‘jal seva’ is ‘jan seva’ (serving drinking water is serving mankind).
In Sikh scripture, the significance of water is underlined thus: Pehla pani jio hai,Jit haria sabha koe”(In the first place, there is life in water by which all are made green)!

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