Udaipur : A special train carrying 616 people, most of them visitors from Andhra Pradesh stranded at the Brahma Kumaris headquarters , departed from the Abu Road station for Visakhapatnam early Wednesday. Some 578 visitors including farmers, traders and villagers from various districts of Andhra Pradesh had arrived at the Shantivan campus of the Brahma Kumaris on March 16 for a meditation camp. The event, scheduled for March 20, was cancelled due to the viral spread in the country.
The visitors had return tickets for March 24 but could not travel after railways suspended passenger services on March 23 and the central government imposed a nationwide lockdown two days later. Besides the these visitors, the train also carried some people from Abu Road and Pali who had been allowed by the authorities to travel.All passengers had to undergo a health screening and were cleared by a team of doctors before boarding the train.
Widely spaced circles had been drawn on the station platform to help maintain social distancing, and the passengers stood inside them as they waited for their turn to board the train. Local officials, including Ravindra Goswami, Sub-divisional Magistrate Mount Abu, and Praveen Kumar, deputy superintendent of police, were present on the occasion. Also present were BK Mruthyunjay, Executive Secretary of the Brahma Kumaris, the station master, and officials from the Railway Protection Force and government railway police force, The passengers were presented flowers before their departure and the officials clapped as the train left the station at 12.15 am. It is scheduled to reach Visakhapatnam in 36 hours.
The Brahma Kumaris had requested Home Minister Amit Shah, Rajasthan government and the Andhra Pradesh government to arrange the special train. Many of the passengers were farmers who needed to harvest their crops back home. The special train arrived at Abu Road station around 9 pm on Tuesday from Ajmer.