New Delhi: Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw promised more "human-centric ideas" for the Railways as industrialist Anand Mahindra commended the national transporter for its recent innovation of "baby berths" for passengers travelling with infants.
In order to make train journeys more convenient and comfortable for those travelling with babies, the national transporter has fitted on a pilot basis foldable "baby berths" on the side of the lower main berths of the Lucknow Mail Train.
"This is just how I would like to see Indian Railways differentiate itself globally: through human-centric design. @AshwiniVaishnaw Given your education & experience, a lot is expected of you. But wonderful to see you lead with both head AND heart!" Mahindra tweeted.
"Look forward to more human-centric design ideas," Vaishnaw tweeted in response.
On 27 April 2022, two baby berths which are 770 mm in length, 255 mm in width as well as 76.2 mm in height, were fitted to 12 and 60 main berths of the second cabins on both the ends of coaches on the Lucknow Mail train.
Officials said the innovation will be expanded once it gets positive feedback from railway passengers.
Once the railway tries it out more and records feedback, it will put the necessary details on the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) where it can be booked by passengers on request, the official further said.
While netizens appreciated the recent initiative of the Railways, not everyone was on board with the design implemented. Many urged the railways to improve the design and pointed out that the current one may not stop babies from falling.
“Very good initiative. But the stopper seems to be big enough for the baby to fall off when it rolls while sleeping. Please ensure additional pipings are welded within the stopper to fill the gap. Thank you,” wrote a user."
"I can find many flaws, first it will most of the time will be tucked inside, very unhygienic, then no mother would make their child sleep outside, with risk of falling and also no cover from upper birth," wrote another user.
"No overhead protection. Upper berth wala can drop his bottle cap or spill hot coffee on the baby! Unsafe – toddlers can walk away! Or worse be kidnapped. Unclean – would be tucked under legs when not in use," wrote yet another.
The Railways clarified that this was done on an experimental basis and that the design will be improved further.
(With inputs from PTI)