Hazaribagh Town (HZME): It was “a dream come true” and a long-cherished one for 32 students from Hazaribagh Zilla School.
These Class IX and X children took a train ride first time ever in their life yesterday – a news that may amuse many in other parts of the country, and even in Jharkhand, but not people of Hazaribagh that was linked with the India Railways by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February this year amid huge fanfare.
The students, mostly underprivileged, would like to thank their geography teacher Sukhmangal, who planned the Sunday trip to and fro Koderma from newly inaugurated Hazaribagh station.
To his utter surprise, Sukhmangal discovered on Friday, while teaching various modes of transport in India, that a number of Class X students had never travelled in train.
“I was telling them about Indian Railways. Suddenly, some of them said they had never boarded a rail gadi. I immediately asked all those who never travelled in train to raise their hands,” he said.
Sukhmangal, along with another teacher Upendra Kumar Singh, then planned a sort of excursion. “I found out a total of 32 students – 18 from Class IX and 14 from Class X – and asked them to bring Rs 40 each as fare for the return journey and carry their lunch. We boarded the Hazaribagh-Koderma DMU at 9.30am,” he added.
They reached Koderma around 12pm and spent around an hour on the platform before taking the return train at 1pm.
“It was like a dream come true,” said Akash Kumar of standard 10.
His classmate Manoj Ram said: “This was an unforgettable trip for us. I will show the pictures to my friends and relatives.”<>Sukhmangal said most of these students came from rural households and their parents were either farmers or daily labourers. “So for them, a train journey means something extraordinary. Two of them were surprised when they saw Purushottam Express passing through Koderma station. They asked me ‘sir, kya train itna lamba hota hai?'”