Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has responded to tweets seeking help
A tweet to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will produce an express response, and at least two people can vouch for it.
A man traveling with his unwell father on Sunday received extraordinary help when his train stopped at his destination in Rajasthan. He had tweeted asking for a wheelchair and assistance to take his father out of the train during a short halt at Merta Road station.Mr Jain, a businessman, found the station master, a few porters and railway staff waiting with a wheelchair when the train arrived.
A senior railway ministry official said the staff responded immediately to Mr Jain's tweet and escorted him and his father out of the railway station.Last week, a woman passenger being harassed on a train in Maharashtra got an instant response to her tweet asking the railway minister for help.
Namrata Mahajan had sent an SOS to the twitter handle of Suresh Prabhu.
"@RailMinIndia plz plz help in train no 18030. One male passenger harassing me at Shegaon. I am in train and terrified," she tweeted.
Ms Mahajan had not given details of the train she was travelling in. The ministry tweeted back asking for her train details and seat number. As the train reached Bhusaval station 40 minutes after Ms Mahajan's tweet, she found personnel of the Railway Protection Force waiting for her. The alleged harasser was shifted to another coach.
The railway minister appears to be taking a cue from his colleague Sushma Swaraj. More than once, the Foreign Minister has responded to calls for help on twitter.
In the past year, she has reacted to the evacuation request of a Yemeni woman married to an Indian, helped a woman who lost her passport and money in Germany and also helped rescue a woman who was being held in South Africa.
Social media has been an important tool for outreach for the government, and perhaps the most twitter-savvy of them all is Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has over 16 million followers.