Railways' ode to Mahatma Gandhi: No non-vegetarian food on October 2
New Delhi, May 20: If a proposal from the railways is approved, October 2 will not only be celebrated as Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas, but also as 'Vegetarian Day' as a mark of respect to Mahatma Gandhi, India's most-famous ambassador for vegetarianism.
The Railway Board has proposed that no non-vegetarian food will be served to passengers on railway premises on October 2 in 2018, 2019 and 2020 when the central government has planned a special commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, according to a blueprint prepared by it.
Besides observing 'Vegetarian Day', the railways plans to run a 'special salt rake' from Sabarmati on March 12 to commemorate the Dandi March and 'swachhata express' trains from Sabarmati to various stations connected with Gandhiji. The national transporter will also issue tickets with watermark of Mahatma Gandhi's image.
According to the Railway Board, its plans are subject to approval from the Ministry of Culture which is the nodal ministry for the special commemoration. In a circular to all railway zones last month, the Railway Board said, "October 2, 2018, 2019, 2020 can also be celebrated as a totally vegetarian day when no non-vegetarian food will be served anywhere on Indian Railways premises. All the railway staff will be requested to observe the day as Vegetarian Day."
The plan also includes thematic painting of all stations connected with Mahatma Gandhi and setting up of digital museums there, depicting significant activities undertaken by the Father of the Nation. It has proposed that all divisional headquarter stations and their various administrative buildings and those of the zonal headquarters may have murals of Gandhiji.
A special logo designed by the Ministry of Culture has also been proposed to be displayed outside a train coach near the doorway where seat numbers are displayed, so that it can be seen by the public. Earlier this month, President Ram Nath Kovind chaired the first meeting of the National Committee for the Commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.