The commuters on board a local train running from Ferozepur city to Hussainiwala were in for a pleasant surprise when Ferozepur’s deputy commissioner Chander Gaind boarded the train along with nine other officers and started interacting with them.
The DC had to reach National Martyrs’ Memorial at Hussainiwala to pay tributes to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev who were cremated at this place on March 23, 1931. Saturday was their 88th martyrdom day.
“I thought of getting a first hand experience from masses on various issues. I took feedback on eliminating drug menace, generating employment and making Ferozepur a clean and green district.,” the DC said.
During pre-Independence era, several freedom fighters travelled on this train, the DC said, adding “I wanted to get that feel”. “This is a historical rail track where the services were started in 1887 with the train covering Ganda Singh Wala, Kasur and Rawalpindi Junctions (now in Pakistan). The Punjab mail, which was flagged off in 1912, still runs on this track.”
With polls around the corner, voter awareness was also part of the memorial function as the DC guided the electorate about systematic voters’ education and electoral participation (SVEEP) activity at Hussainiwala, where he also paid tributes to matryrs. “The district administration has also set up a special corner near memorial under SVEEP programme and voter-verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs) machines were exhibited to inform the public about its functioning,” he said.
He said that only VVPAT machines will be used in the general elections. A signature campaign was also started at the memorial site to exhort the voters for their massive participation in the voting process, he added.
Asked about the grievances that people shared with him, the DC said, “This local train runs on this historical track only on two days in a year – March 23 and April 13. People asked that it be made a daily service. I will be taking up the matter with railways ministry for running a weekly train to start with so that people can visit the memorial and pay tributes to martyrs”. Additional Deputy Commissioner Ravinder Singh, Ravinder Pal Sandhu, Assistant Commissioner Ranjit Singh, SDM Amit Gupta, BSF commandant Shiv Om and many others were present on the occasion.