Smoking In Indian Railways [Public Places]: Time To Put An End To It

Posted on January 3, 2011 in Society

By Khagesh Agarwal:

It is a well known and accepted fact that smoking and consumption of alcohol are strictly prohibited in the Indian Railways, but every now and then, we can see people smoking on the railway platform and even inside the train, in the lavatories mostly. We also see people consuming alcoholic beverages inside the train, much to the dismay of the co-passengers. It often occurs in my mind: “Can something be done about it?”

Well, indeed, we can act upon such prohibited habits by being more alert and responsive in our approach. We, as citizens, can express our dissent when we see such things happening around us. But then, where’s the role of the government? The Government perhaps need to be more concerned. If smoking is prohibited in the Railway premises, then the state machinery should be strict enough for not allowing sale of tobacco products in the railway premises. It is a frequent sight that hawkers sell cigarettes and paan-products in the railway compartments. If the so called “no-smoking” tag is to be adhered to, then how did that vendor make its way to the railway compartment? What were the security personnel doing at the time?

By and by, many such instances take place around us in our day-to-day life, and we discern them thinking that it’s the way things go, no one can do anything. But it’s our duty to improve things. A small act of improvement today will sow the seeds for a better tomorrow, and our future generations shall not witness the shame and agony we have been a part of, or, so to say, victim to.

This new year, let us all take a pledge to contribute to the social upliftment in any possible manner, even if it’s a small step.

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Suyash Pandey

India is huge, and many train journeys can last up to 2-4 days, or more. Keeping this in mind, it is not practical to completely ban smoking, as it may result in undesirable consequences due to nicotine withdrawal symptoms, like violence and stressed passengers. And lets face it, a smoker will smoke, no matter what. Hence, maybe designated smoking rooms on stations and on trains is a possible solution. They all smoke in trains anyway, might as well give them a room, atleast it will be a safer alternative. Also, an entry fee to such rooms would keep the smoking in control.


i saw vendor selling tobacco inside the train. shocked !

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