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Indian Railways and IRCTC to Include Transgender Option in Railway Ticket Forms

In a commendable move, Indian Railways and IRCTC have included "transgender as the third gender" in the option in ticket reservation and cancellation forms alongside male and female

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New Delhi, November 27, 2016: In a commendable move, Indian Railways and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have included “transgender as the third gender” in the option in ticket reservation and cancellation forms alongside male and female.

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According to PTI, “The decision which was taken on a representation made by a lawyer will include the facility for reservations and cancellations, both online as well offline.”
The Delhi-based lawyer made the representation after the Delhi High Court in February asked him to approach the Railway Ministry while disposing of his petition.

The ministry in its circular referred to the direction of the apex court of April 2014 and said that eunuchs, hijras, apart from binary gender, be treated as third gender for the protection of their rights.

“Supreme Court (in the judgement) has directed that Hijras, Eunuchs, apart from binary gender, be treated as the third gender for the purpose of safeguarding their rights under Part III of our Constitution and the laws made by the parliament and the State Legislature. “

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“It has, therefore, been decided to include the third gender/transgender option alongside male/female in reservation /cancellation requisition form. This information will be captured by the system and tickets to transgender will be issued on full fare,” the circular stated.

Before the High Court, Advocate Jamshed Ansari in his PIL had alleged violation of Article 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution by IRCTC, by non-inclusion of “transgender/third gender” as a gender option in its reservation and cancellation forms.

He had also sought compliance of the apex court judgment in which it directed the Centre as well as the state governments to recognise transgender as the third sex, and to give them with the benefits provided to socially and economically backward classes.

The advocate further demanded reserved seats and special coaches for the transgender community in all trains, for their protection and care.

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On which the bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini had asked the ministry to look into the allegation made in the writ petition.

prepared by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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The Families Of Victims In Railway Accident Incident In India Stage Protests

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accident a "heart-wrenching tragedy" and asked officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

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People gather at the site of an accident after a train traveling at high speed ploughed through a crowd of people on rail tracks near Amritsar, India. VOA

Angry relatives of the scores of people who were killed in India when they were run over by a speeding train staged protests Saturday while one of the country’s railway officials maintains the railway is not responsible for the tragic accident.

The train was traveling at high speed when it ploughed through a crowd Friday at a religious festival on the outskirts of the northern city of Amritsar, killing 59 people, Punjab state’s Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, told reporters Saturday. Singh said 57 others were injured and an official investigation would be carried out over the next four weeks.

The Jalandhar-Amritsar express was traveling at 90 kilometers per hour when it hit the crowd, which had gathered on the tracks to watch a fireworks display marking the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

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The Hindu festival of Dussehra.

Hundreds of relatives of the victims engaged in sporadic protests on and near the tracks Saturday, calling for action against local authorities and the train operator, who was questioned Saturday by police.

Authorities moved the protestors off the tracks and brought in reinforcements to control the crowd.

‘No lapse on our part’

The railway accident was India’s worst in years, but the junior minister who manages Indian Railways, the world’s fourth largest rail system, refused to accept responsibility.

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A man mourns next to the burning pyre of a family member who died after a train traveling at high speed ploughed through a crowd of people, at a cremation site in Amritsar, India. VOA

“Railways cannot be blamed. Railways were not informed about the ceremony,” Manoj Sinha told reporters Saturday. Speaking to reporters, Sinha ruled out any punitive action against his staff, saying, “There was no lapse on our part and no action against the driver will be initiated.”

Local government officials said the festival takes place every year on the outskirts of Amritsar and that railroad authorities are alerted to run the trains at slow speeds.

Witnesses said the victims did not realize the train was coming because of the sound of the fireworks and celebrations.

‘Heart-wrenching’

Some witnesses said the train did not sound its whistle as it sped past the festival site.

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With India, Indian Railway is also digitizing, Pixels

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accident a “heart-wrenching tragedy” and asked officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

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India’s railway network remains the main form of travel in the vast country, where railway accidents are relatively common.

Millions of Hindus celebrate the Dussehra festival by burning giant effigies of the demon Ravana, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. (VOA)