No words of praise can suffice for T. Rajasekaran, guard on the Salem-Chennai Egmore Express, whose timely action saved a disaster and the lives of passengers on board the Rockfort Express on Saturday. The same goes for all those who coordinated with him to avert the accident. At the same time, it is shocking to learn that he and three more employees of the Railways have been given a reward of just Rs.5000. The cash reward should be much more for those who acted with such presence of mind. Imagine the loss that would have been incurred had an accident taken place.
A person working at two in the morning is said to be on the graveyard shift, when even the most alert person feels drowsy. The fact that Mr. Rajasekaran, the stationmaster of Mundiambakkam and the driver and assistant driver of the Rockfort Express acted with the utmost devotion to duty at that unearthly hour stands as a shining example of their sense of responsibility and discipline. The quantum of reward is meagre and should be enhanced.
We are prepared to pay lakhs in compensation to the injured and relatives of the dead when a disaster takes place. But the railway staff who averted a major accident have been rewarded a paltry Rs.5000.