The second special train organised by the Goa Government left for Udhampur on 11th May from Margao station carrying 728 Kashmiris with slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’. This is a part of an evacuation program taken over by the State Government to send the stranded people in Goa to their respective states.
According to the reports, stuck between to the love for Goa and missing their homeland around 728 Kashmiris including the natives of Ladakh finally boarded the “Shramik Special Train” to Udhampur arranged by the Goa Government.
According to the sources, it was an emotional moment as the train chugged out of the Margao railway station late Monday evening. While they vented their feelings of national pride with cries of “Bharat Mata ki Jai, and ” Vande Mataram,” overwhelming voices of “May Allah bless Goa,” and “Dev Borem Korun, Goa,” also emanated from the coaches.
South Goa collector Ajit Roy, South Goa SP Arvind Gawas, along with senior officials of the district administration, police department and Konkan Railway, waved back in acknowledgement.
“We Kashmiris consider ourselves the best when it comes to Mehmanbazi (hospitality), but the kind of treatment accorded to us by the Goa government officials in facilitating our journey home was much beyond our expectations. I am speechless,” said a passenger, Idrees Ali, a native of Srinagar. Ali has made Goa his second home. He has been coming to the tourist state every year for the past 18 years, to trade in jewellery at Mobor, Cavelossim.
According to the reports, most of the passenger bordered the train are either businessmen or employees of the hospitality industry in Goa. “Inshallah, when everything returns to normalcy, we will come back to Goa for the next season,” one of the Kashmiri businessmen said.
Amongst the 728 passengers, eight Kashmiri students were brought from Belgaum in a special vehicle to enable them to board the train. This was the second Shramik Special train to Udhampur from Goa – the first left Goa with around 1,200 passengers on Sunday.
The South Goa district administration ferried the passengers from Jawaharlal Nehru stadium – where they were subjected to health screening – to Margao railway station in 28 KTC buses. Every passenger was provided with a dinner pack and a bottle of water and sources said food will be served to them during meal times throughout the journey.