Says he has become the `new management guru'
Credits the turnaround of Railways to its employeesSays core sections will not be privatised
NEW DELHI: "I have become the "new management guru" of management students in India and abroad. All B-schools in India and other countries want me to visit them and relate the great turnaround story of Indian Railways to them. The credit for this goes to all the 14 lakh employees of the organisation who have worked as a family to save the Railways from going bankrupt," Railway Minister Lalu Prasad said after meeting a group of management students from the United States.
During the 50-minute interaction with students of McCombs School of Business, University of Texas, and Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, at the National Railway Museum here, Mr. Prasad bowled them over with his rustic humbleness combined with witty humour while sharing the success story of the Railways.
Mr. Prasad interacted with the students in a mix of Hindi, English and Bhojpuri often giving them examples of how the Railways managed to turnaround and post a profit of Rs. 20,000 crore this year.
Asked what his next target was, he said it was to make the Railways more vibrant, improve the passenger amenities and post a profit of Rs. 25,000 crore next year.
Mr. Prasad had to face inconvenient questions at times on cleanliness in trains and railway stations, standardisation of cuisine and pollution. But he stood up to the "onslaught" and asked the students to join the resurgent Railways.
The Minister said that in order to cut down emissions, electrification was being taken up on a big scale and a switch over from coal engines to bio diesel ones was on.
Mr. Prasad, however, said a big no to privatisation of core sections of the organisation but promised to replace the toilets in trains with new environment-friendly ones soon. Later, talking to newsmen, Mr. Prasad said: "I told them that when Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan hill he got help from thousands of villagers.
Like a family
The Railways is like a family and if it is reaping profits now it is because of the sheer hard work of employees." Many of the students, who are visiting India for the first time, found Mr. Prasad a down to earth man and an inspiration for all, especially to those from the lower strata of society.