Modi flags off hi-tech Varanasi-Delhi train

The Mahamana Express will cover the distance between Varanasi and New Delhi in 14 hours.- Photo: PTI  

In his fifth visit to his constituency, Varanasi, after assuming power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off a new train, Mahamana Express, connecting the city and New Delhi through Lucknow in 14 hours.

The train, named after Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, the founder of Banaras Hindu University, is equipped with modern facilities such as bio-toilets in every coach and LED screens in air-conditioned compartments. The train will run thrice a week. Attending the Divyangjan Sashaktikaran Samaroh in the city, Mr. Modi gave away electronic devices, artificial limbs, tricycles, Braille kits, hearing aids, teaching-learning material kit and other equipment to 9,296 “divyangs”, or specially abled persons.

“When I say let us use the word ‘divyang’, it is about a change in mindset,” Mr. Modi said while reiterating his plea for doing away with the word “viklang” (handicapped) and instead calling the differently abled “divyang” (those born with a divine limb/organ).

“Let us not think about what is lacking in a person, let us see what is the extraordinary quality a person is blessed with,” Mr. Modi said.

The Prime Minister interacted with children who have overcome speech and hearing disabilities with the help of the Centre’s ADIP scheme.