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Indian Railways commences celebrations of the iconic week of ‘Azadi ki Rail Gadi aur Stations’

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) building illuminated with the tricolor as part of 'Azadi ke Amrit Mahotsav', in Mumbai (PTI)Premium
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) building illuminated with the tricolor as part of 'Azadi ke Amrit Mahotsav', in Mumbai (PTI)

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Mumbai is an important part of history since the first train on the Indian sub-continent ran from here and Mumbai has been one of the centres of the freedom struggle movement

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Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus was on Monday illuminated with tri-colour lights on the eve of the commencement of the week celebrating 'Azadi Ki Rail Gaadi aur Stations'.

Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate 75 years of Independence and the glorious history of the country's people, culture, and achievements. As part of these celebrations, Indian Railways is celebrating the iconic week of “Azadi ki Rail Gadi aur Stations" at 75 stations and 27 trains from 18 to 23 July. These specific trains and stations mark important places and events which are associated with the glorious history of India’s struggle for freedom. In continuation to this, Western Railway is partaking in the festivities of the week with great enthusiasm.

Chairman & CEO, Railway Board, Shri Vinay Kumar Tripathi inaugurated the Iconic Week Celebrations of the ‘Azadi Ki Rail Gadi aur Stations’ on 18th July, 2022 in Rail Bhawan. Highlighting the importance of 75 identified stations/27 trains in the freedom struggle, Indian Railways has organized week-long celebrations from 18th July-23rd July. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Tripathi said, “As a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the event ‘Azadi Ki Rail Gadi aur Stations will be held during this week called as Iconic Week, under the overall spirit of Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan, which will showcase the convergence of the values and glories of the freedom struggle of the past with the aspirations and dreams of a young, new and iconic India. This week will culminate with the Milestone function on 23rd July 2022. He also said that the Iconic Week Celebration will be very impactful across the country and more vibrant around the Freedom Stations & Spotlight Trains to kindle the patriotic spirit in the minds of travelling public and people at large.

Out of the 75 stations over Indian Railways, 5 stations of Western Railways have been chosen which hold national importance in the various stages of the freedom struggle of India. These stations have been decorated & will be illuminated in tricolor during the week. Digital screens displaying short films on the freedom struggle has been installed at these stations to make people aware of the country’s history. Patriotic songs, street plays, and light-sound shows have been organized at these stations. 

In addition to these, selfie points have also been set up at these stations, and photo exhibitions are also being organized. Freedom fighters and their families were invited at these iconic stations, who were then felicitated. It was heartwarming to relive & listen, as they narrated the glories of the struggle for Independence. The 5 stations of WR which have been chosen are Porbandar famously known as the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi; Sabarmati famous for Sabarmati Ashram, which was established by Mahatma Gandhi to promote cottage industries; Navsari, it was here where Mahatma Gandhi challenged the British government's Salt Law. This incident is a milestone in the freedom struggle; Adas Road - Following Bapu's values ​​of non-violence, 5 freedom fighters achieved martyrdom in the Quit India Movement in this place; Bardoli - The Bardoli Satyagraha under the leadership of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for the farmers of Bardoli against unjust raise in taxes during the British Raj was a major episode of Civil Disobedience in the Indian independence movement.

As part of the ‘Azadi ki Rail Gadi aur Stations’ celebrations, 09 trains of Western Railway will be decorated and flagged off by freedom fighters & family members from various stations throughout the week. Historical facts about these trains will be displayed for the information of people. Some of the selected trains include Lokshakti Express, Ashram Express, Sabarmati Express, Ahimsa Express, Gujarat Mail, Ahmedabad-New Delhi Rajdhani Express etc.

On 18 July the inaugural function of the ‘Azadi ki Rail Gadi aur Stations’ celebrations was held at Mumbai Central station in the presence of Shri G V L Satyakumar, Divisional Railway Manager of Mumbai Division and various dignitaries. Freedom fighter Shri Anant Laxman Gurav and family members of late freedom fighters i.e. Smt. Indumati Pawar wife of Late Shri Daulatrao Pawar and Smt. Shantabai Jadhav wife of Late Shri Khandu Jadhav graced the occasion with their presence & were felicitated.

In continuation to this, Bandra Terminus – Ahmedabad Lokshakti Express and Ahmedabad – Dadar Gujarat Mail were flagged off by freedom fighters and family members of freedom fighters. At Navsari station, a Nukkad Natak was staged and patriotic dance was performed by students of Railway School, Valsad. At Bardoli station school students along with a railway staff sang a patriotic song. Smt Niranjanaben daughter of freedom fighter was felicitated. At Porbandar station, award-winning artist Shri Jayesh Hingrajiya performed an engaging impersonation of Gandhiji and his life. Patriotic songs were sung by different teams along with a nukkad natak performance by Bharat Scouts & Guides cadets of Bhavnagar and mantra recitation by Vidyapati students of Sandipani Gurukul. At Sabarmati station, a photo gallery, nukkad natak, selfie point have been organized for people to participate in this mega event. All these stations were illuminated in hues of the tricolor and digital screens displayed patriotic videos. Shri Nikunj Bhai family member of Late Freedom Fighter Shri Lakshmibhai Somchand Tapodhan flagged off Gujarat Mail from Ahmedabad station.

The oldest and one of the most prestigious trains on the Central Railway, the Punjab Mail, was one of the 27 trains selected by Indian Railways to be decorated and flagged off as part of the celebrations.

The Punjab Mail, which had its maiden run out of Ballard Pier Mole station on June 1, 1912, completed 110 years of its service recently.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, a UNESCO World Heritage site, city icon and headquarters of the Central Railway was one among the 75 Railway Stations selected as one of the most photographed buildings in India and was specially illuminated to commemorate this historic occasion.

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