Railways goes Tobacco Free

Thanks to outstanding advocacy of the Voice of Tobacco Victims especially Shafique Shaikh who died of mouth cancer recently, the Minister of Railways, Shri Dinesh Trivedi has renewed the commitment to make Indian Railways the first “tobacco free” institution in the country. Mr Trivedi had been a great support to the Voice of Tobacco Victims Campaign right from the beginning. Scanned copy of the order is attached. Shri Trivedi acknowledged “Shafique was special …and some how I had developed lot of affection for him and I do not even know why …will do what ever I can so that this story is not repeated.”

Shafique must be thanking Mr Trivedi from the heaven for saving millions of other Shafiques from getting this tragic end. Shafique’s death is not wasted.Her daughters can proudly say that their father moved a noble human being called Shri Dinesh Trivedi that eventually culminated into Indian Railway going tobacco free. This will allow the 18 year Jamila (Shafique’swife) and 2 daughters (2 year and 2 months) some solace in years to come.

 Shafique with Shri Trivedi Ji

Shafique with Shri Trivedi Ji (on right side of Trivedi Ji)

Getting the Railways truly tobacco free would be a great victory for tobacco control in India. Indian Railways has covers a route of 65,000 kms and over 7,500 stations. It carries over 30 million passengers and 2.8 million tons of freight daily. It is the world’s second largest commercial or utility employer, with more than 1.36 million employees. But it is not just its size and reach which make the railways so important. They’re a part of the Indian culture and provide a shared experience for our nation.

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