Railways Minister Piyush Goyal Friday flagged off from New Delhi the Sarbat Da Bhala Express. a special train from National Capital to Lohian Khas, linking North India with the holy city of Sultanpur Lodhi as part of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev. The train was previously known as the New Delhi-Ludhiana Intercity Express.
Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan were also present.
“Just yesterday, we have added a Vande India train, which will take devotees to Maa Vaishno Devi, and today this train will take pilgrims to Sultanpur Lodhi. There can be nothing more pious that the railways connecting places of religious worship,” said Goyal.
The request to rename the train was made by Harsimrat. She thanked the Goyal for agreeing to her proposal and said that it was a sentimental issue for the people of Punjab.
“Sarbat Da Bhala or ‘blessings for all’ formed the essence of Guru Nanak Dev’s teachings. It is most appropriate to rename the train as such. It is a historic moment for Sikhs. In Sultanpur Lodhi, Guru Nanak spent 14 years of his life and taught that all communities are one. No Hindu no Muslim, only Ek Omkar,” the Bathinda MP said.
Harsh Vardhan said that the train was a gift for Delhiites. “This train will have blessings of Guru Nanak Ji. It is a gift for Delhiites and countrymen,” he said.
Terming Guru Nanak as a messenger of peace, Goyal said that the joy and celebrations to participate in the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak on November 12, is unimaginable. “Renaming of this train is an initiative to follow a path shown by Nanak Ji. We all should imbibe his teachings in life,” he added.
Speaking about the initiatives taken by the Railways ministry to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Harsimrat said apart from spending Rs 22 crore for upgradation of Sultanpur Lodhi station and constructing a museum there, 14 special trains would be run between Hazur Sahib Nanded to Ferozepur. “Northern Railways will also run 12 Special trains for handling passenger traffic during the celebrations,” she said while appealed to Goyal to start a direct train between New Delhi and Sultanpur Lodhi.
The train that was flagged off from New Delhi Railway Station on Friday at 6.30 am, reached Sultanpur Lodhi at 3:10 pm. The train reached the station amid showering of flower petals. The passengers were garlanded.
Union Minister of State for Railways, Suresh C Angdi flagged off the train on its return journey at 6:33 pm. The train will run five days a week.