Almost 4 cr elderly forced to travel on full fare since Covid outbreak
New Delhi: Almost four crore senior citizens have been forced to pay full fare for their travel since the railways suspended their concessions due to the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, a RTI has revealed.
In a reply to a query filed by Madhya Pradesh-based Chandra Shekhar Gaur, the railways has stated that between March 22, 2020 and September 2021, 37,850,668 senior citizens have undertaken journeys on trains.
During this period, train services remained suspended for several months due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The concessions, which were suspended from March 2020, have remained suspended to this day.
In the case of senior citizens, while women are eligible for 50 per cent concession, men can avail 40 per cent in all classes. The minimum age limit for a woman is 58 and a man is 60.
Over the last two decades, railway concessions have been a much-discussed topic with multiple committees recommending their withdrawal. As a result of this in July 2016, the railways made elderly concession optional while booking tickets.
In July 2017, the railways enabled the elderly to even give up their partial or full concession through the "give it up" scheme.
The thing is that the concession given to us was significant and is a huge help for those that cannot afford it. Senior citizens in many homes are treated as an extra, with no income of their own. These concessions helped them to get around.PTI