A letter written by an 11-year-old to the Prime Minister has sent Railway officials in a tizzy.
Nayan Sinha, who lives in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district and studies in Chandrashekhar Azad Intermediate College, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last September. In the letter, the Class VII student wrote about how the absence of a crossing at the railway tracks between his locality and the school meant he and 200 other students had to take a longer route every morning.
The letter prompted the Prime Minister to ask the Railway Ministry to intervene. But, there was one problem. Senior divisional commercial manager (Northern Railways) A K Sinha explained that under a new railway policy, a railway crossing or overbridge cannot be constructed till the state government puts in a request with the Railway Ministry, which then sends a team to assess the site and approve the demand.
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Sinha said he has conveyed this to Nayan, and would soon write a reply to the Railways head office in Delhi, which would be forwarded to the Prime Minister.
“I never cross the railway tracks as my parents have asked me not to. But the alternate route is much longer, so I reach school late and get punished on most days. In September last year, without informing anyone, I posted the letter to the Prime Minister. I wrote about how I have to walk extra to reach school,” said Nayan.
“I had forgotten about the letter. Then, two days ago, my family received a letter from the divisional engineer, Northern Railways, mentioning my application sent to the Prime Minister. But no Railway official has visited us or sent any clear response to my request so far,” said Nayan, who has a 14-year-old sister.
“The railway track is about 100 metres from our house. Ever since the track came up, Nayan has to walk over two kilometres to reach the manned railway crossing at Rajepur, and then to school. Around 200 children from our colony take the same route. My son sent a letter to the Prime Minister requesting him to make arrangements for a railway crossing or overbridge on the railway track, which would reduce the distance between the colony and the school. It will not just help schoolchildren, but also the sick and elderly,” said Nayan’s father Ashutosh.