Minister again takes Metro ride, lends passengers an ear

New Delhi: To promote public transport, the now khaas admi and aurat of Aam Aadmi Party have decided to travel by autos, buses and Metro. Having travelled for his oath-taking ceremony by Metro, PWD and Education Minister Manish Sisodia chose this mode of travel again when he had to attend a school function in Dwarka on Tuesday.

Sisodia boarded the train at Akshardham station around 10.15am and travelled to Dwarka Sector 11. “I travel by Metro frequently. The journey from my house to Dwarka would have taken two hours by car, but by Metro it takes just an hour. It’s also an economical way of travelling. More importantly, it gives me a chance to interact with people,” he said.

During the journey, Sisodia walked the length of the train, interacting with passengers. “Namaste. Sab theek (Everything alright)?” was Sisodia’s query to passengers, many of whom were stunned to see him.

A woman, Nirmala, broke down when Sisodia spoke to her. She told him her son was promised a job in Malaysia for a payment of Rs 2 lakh but when he reached there, the agency made him do menial work and took away his passport. Nirmala, from Kapoorthala in Punjab, had reached Delhi on Tuesday morning to visit the agency and ask for their son’s return. When she related her story to Sisodia, he asked the SDM accompanying him to direct her to officials concerned and, if required, write to the foreign affairs ministry.

“While her problem has nothing to do with Delhi government, she’s in distress and it is our duty to help her,” he said. Sisodia asked passengers if any of them was willing to escort her to SDM Kapashera’s office. A passenger dropped his work and volunteered to accompany her and her husband.

However, the crowd, especially media, accompanying Sisodia, was a problem for commuters. “It is an excellent move for the minister to travel with the aam admi but the next time, he should not announce his travel plans and come alone instead. Cameramen are falling over each other and us to get their shots. It is extremely inconvenient,” said Prahlad Joshi, a passenger.