New Delhi, June 24 (Calcutta Tube) Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday flagged off a special exhibition train to promote the Commonwealth Games across India. The train will Friday reach Amritsar, where the Queen’s Baton Relay will arrive from Pakistan.
A message from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh read at the function said: ‘This effort will help in spreading the message of Games and India’s progress in IT across our diverse country. It will inform and educate people not only on the Commonwealth Games but also information technology.’
The train has 14 coaches, including five dedicated to sports and the Commonwealth Games and six to IT. One coach has been converted into a 100-foot-long travelling sports photo exhibition curated by filmmaker Sunil Yash Kalra, who has donated rare pictures from his collection of over 5,000 images.
Banerjee said that Indian Railways is the lead partner of the Games and the ministry is proud to associate itself with the promotion of sports.
‘The train will reach nook and corner of the country to promote sports and IT. Organising the Games in the best possible manner should remain the top priority as the prestige of the country is linked with it,’ she added.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the train will help people in rural areas of the country know about the Games.
‘We will be proud to welcome people from across the country and abroad visiting Delhi during the Games,’ she said.
In its journey across 28 states, the train will stop at 48 stations and will follow the Queen’s Baton Relay where there is railway connectivity.
It is painted green with the logos of the 19th edition of the Commonwealth Games and the Indian Railways. It will return to New Delhi by Oct 1, ahead of the Oct 3-14 mega event.
The coaches allocated to Railway Sports Promotion Board showcase the history of Commonwealth Games and detail the venues of the mega event. It will spread general awareness about different sports besides giving wide publicity to the sports icons of India who have brought laurels to the country.
On the exhibition train, the government’s IT department will showcase the capacity achieved and the work done in the country in the area.
It will highlight initiatives carried out in the fields of e-governance, infrastructure, technology relevant to rural India besides language interfacing technology.
To reach out to the common man in an effective manner, posters will be made available in 10 regional languages in addition to English.