Change Starts from Me and U

Indian Railways: Where Will the Passengers Dung it?

Indian Railways has a very interesting story on how the toilets came into existence in 1909. If not for this man, not sure when would it have seen light of the day.

English Grammar doesn’t matter, if the “belly is too much swelling.”

The introduction of toilets on Indian trains is an interesting tale.

In the first 55 years of operation of the Indian Railways, there were no toilets in trains. On July 2, 1909, Okhil Chandra Sen, a Indian railway passenger, wrote a letter to Sahibganj Divisional office West Bengal in 1909 requesting to setup toilets in Indian Railways.

Okhil wrote this letter in his anguish. Though the letter certainly lacked the basic English grammar but it became an important document in the history of Indian railways. This letter has been hand painted and it is currently on display in the Rail Museum at New Delhi.

Dear Sir,

I am arrive by passenger train at Abmedpur station and my belly is too much swelling with jackfruit. I am therefore went to privy. Just I doing the nuisance the guard making whistle blow for train to go off and I am running with lota (water pot) in one hand and dhoti (clothes) in the next. When I am fall over and expose all my shockings to man and woman on platform. I am got leaved at Abmedpur station.

This too much bad, if passengers go to make dung, the damn guard not wait train five minutes for him? I am therefore pray your honour to make big fine on that guard for public sake otherwise I am making big report to papers.

Yours faithfull servant
Okhil Ch Sen

After this letter from an aggrieved Babu Okhil Chandra Sen, the railway authorities had no other option but to introduce toilets in all lower class carriages in trains running more than 50 miles at that time.


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