Railways out to track sportspersons


The Indian railway network is among the largest in the world. With more than 600 crore passengers travelling every year and almost 10,000 trains running daily, it offers a tremendous scope for making a lucrative career on the tracks. The Indian Railways provides varied opportunities for a secure and satisfying career. There is a Rail Sports Promotion Board within the network. There is a special quota for sportspersons and the Indian Railways recruits almost 1200 people from different sports backgrounds every year. Railway employees enjoy many privileges as well.

The job of a ticket collector is no mean task. “Whenever I look at Ticket Collector, I feel hat they are public servants and have no other source of income hence they wait to collect fines from people,” says Virgil Sequeira. However, in reality, the ticket collector has definitely achieved much more in life as compared to the common man.

Sportspersons are generally offered jobs in Group C which consists of ticket collectors and commercial clerks. The Indian Railways is known to have produced many eminent sportspersons and has 103 Arjuna Awardees to its credit so far. Some of the sportsperson in the railways are

Faiyyaz Ahmed

This 25 year-old power lifter weighs only 67 kgs but he can carry weights of almost three times his own weight. He has won the Junior National Championship four times, the Junior Asia Championship once and the Junior World Championship for three consecutive years. He has 53 gold medals, 14 silver medals and seven bronze medals to his collection of medals and trophies.

Iqbal Maindargi

He started his career in Badminton at the age of 17 years playing for Kolhapur district. He has represented Central Railway, Indian Railways and Maharashtra State for more than 30 years. He represented Maharashtra in the year 1972-73 and won the Single’s Championship from 1973 – 1976. He participated in the Thomas Cup in 1975 in Pakistan and in 1976 in Jalandhar. In 1976, he won the award for the best badminton player in Maharashtra. He ranked No. 2 after Prakash Padukone from 1975 to 1977. “My most memorable moment was when I defeated Prakash Padukone in 1975 at Cricket Club on India at Mumbai,” says Iqbal who is one of the few players to defeat Padukone. Maindargi is currently the Chief Ticket Inspector and is coaching the Maharashtra Badminton Team.

Simon D’Souza

Simon D’Souza is a medium distance athlete and represented Indian Railways from 1977-1983. D’Souza is a bronze medallist in the 1500 metres race in the 1979 National Games held at Hyderabad. He completed his Diploma in Coaching from National Institute of Sports and coached the Indian Railways athletics team for six years. He also represented MaharashtraSt. Joseph High School, Juhu. state for 9 years in 800 metres and 1500 metres. “I am 54 years old now and I keep myself fit by jogging everyday at Juhu beach,” states Simon who is also currently coaching the students of St. Joseph’s High School, Juhu

Onkar Singh

This Divisional Chief Ticket Inspector had the privilege of sharing the hockey field with Ajit Pal, Ashok Kumar and others at the 1975 Hockey World Cup at Kuala Lumpur. “I was only 18 years old then and was the youngest player in the team,’ adds Singh. He started his career in International hockey in 1974 till 1983. He joined the railways after the World Cup and continued to play for the railways till he was 35 years old. His exposure in the field of sports had given him an edge over others at the time of recruiting. This 54 year-old has Mumbai, Pune, Solapur, Bhusaval and Nagpur under his jurisdiction and is unable to devote time to his first love – hockey.

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