“Neki ki Rail” a seminar for improving the Railway’s social footprint
“Neki ki Rail” a seminar for improving the Railway’s social footprint and impacting society in a positive manner Organised by Ministry of Railways at National Rail Museum.
Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated a seminar “NEKI KI RAIL” for improving the Railways’ social footprint and impacting society in a positive manner here today.
Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital, Member Traffic Shri Mohd Jamshed, Member Engineering Shri Aditya Kumar Mittal, Member Rolling Stock Shri Ravindra Gupta, Member Staff Shri Pradeep Kumar and other Railway Board Members and senior officials were also be present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said, “Railways is a medium for Social transformation. Railways, being an important contributor in economy, have a significant role to involve everyone in this social transformation. Doing something for society helps the organisation to grow economically. Successful organisations are those which are liked by the people. In the budget speech, it was announced that any handicrafts products, any MSME’s products shall be marketed by a Railway PSU, IRCTC. It shall be a win win situation for both as IRCTC can get more hits and traders’ products can get the big market. Railways cannot directly get involved in social welfare; however it may provide support to such initiatives. Self Help Groups, various organisations can come forward and collaborate with Railways. Railways can promote Social development by tie up with corporate who have to spend 2% of their profit for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Indian Railways has helped Self Help Groups in Konkan Railways with the help of National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD). The ethnic food items made by them are available to Rail Passengers. We should take initiatives which benefit both Railways and society.”
Indian Railways has one of the largest railway networks in the world and has a multi-faceted role in contribution to society being the lifeline of the nation. Indian Railways has always been a transporter with subsidized passenger fares, essential commodities with subsidized fares, minerals and coal to plants and providing immediate relief by transporting foodgrains, water and other necessities to areas affected by natural calamities. Indian Railways has significant potential to contribute to social well being and the potential can be better realized through integrated approach and with cooperation of other stakeholders. To seek insights and inputs, the seminar on Neki ki Rail was organised today.
The conference served as a platform for interaction of reputed experts/institutions who are working in the field, Indian Railways/PSUs under Ministry of Railways and other stakeholders for improving Indian Railway as a socially conscious and dedicated enterprise and leverage the core strength of Railways to benefit disadvantaged section of population.
The seminar explored amongst other issues:
1. Identification of areas where Railways contribution in Social Welfare can have maximum impact.
2. Provide framework for PSUs CSR work under the Ministry to maximise social impact.
3. Framework for Policy on permitting use of station, trains for creating awareness of socially relevant themes and their advertisement in Railway premises on zero payment basis.
4. Identification of areas for social challenges and explore provision of co-working spaces to social entrepreneurs and social enterprise.
5. Policy on market access for skill based products, such as, artisans, Self help groups.
6. Policy for enabling volunteers’ engagement for social work both for employees and outsiders.
7. Policy for working with NGO’s on social benefits.
8. Identification of stakeholders for synergetic working.
In the Conference current activities for social welfare undertaken under the aegis of Ministry of Railways were discussed. Current activities range from CSR activities of PSU’s of Indian Railways, restoring children by RPF, Skilling India Initiative of Ministry of Railways, providing livelihood through IRCTC. The challenges for Indian Railways like providing catering services, maintenance of uniformity in food quality, pantry cars, and provisions of catering in trains running late were highlighted. Indian Railways is committed to provide best services in catering sector through the New Catering Policy. The focus of Indian Railways for social amelioration is to provide skills, education, generation of employment and livelihood, access to market to skill based producers such as artisans, bringing to fore diversity of handicrafts, water recycling and wellness of all sections of the society.
The outcome of the conference is Indian Railways shall leverage its core strengths by providing Geographical connectivity for remote areas, it shall leverage reach of IRCTC for selling products of skill based enterprises, manpower reach is to be widened by establishing a station in remote areas, making strengths of Indian Railways a force multiplier for CSR activities of PSU’s under Ministry of Railways.