Indian Railways has lost over 1900 of its employees since last March to COVID–19 including the frontline workers like the station masters among others. Around 1000 railwaymen are getting affected by the COVID-19 virus daily, according to the Railways Ministry.
“As of now, we have 4,000 beds currently occupied by staff and their families. Our effort is to see that they recover quickly. As of yesterday, 1,952 railway employees have died due to COVID-19 since March last year,” said Suneet Sharma, Chairman Railway Board.
Indian Railways has so far lost 113 station masters to COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has also lost 50 of its personnel.
Oxygen plants have been established in railway hospitals to ensure the supply of oxygen is not interrupted.
In a letter to the Railways Board, the associations including All Indian Station Masters’ Association (AISMA) have demanded special insurance of Rs 50 lakhs for each of their members and immediate vaccination for everyone.
The Railways Board, in turn, has decided to vaccinate each of their employees in cooperation with the state governments. In the first vaccination drive, it was only the frontline workers, railway medical staff as well as RPF personnel who had got vaccinated. Other categories like ticket checkers, station masters, drivers and guards were not included in that drive which is now being taken up on a war footing.
As per the Employees’ Unions, over 1 lakh employees of the Indian Railways had contracted the virus of which two-third of the employees have so far recovered.