The new Railway Minister of India, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, announced a special pass for those earning less than Rs.500 per month. The special costs Rs.20 to travel 100 km. Now the question is, why should anyone be earning less than Rs.500 per month? For unskilled males, the wages are about Rs.200 per day and for unskilled females, it is Rs.80- Rs.100 per day with one meal. A male worker can earn Rs.2,000 a month by working for 10 days. Similarly a female worker can earn up to Rs.1,000 for 10 days work.
The factories in towns and farms in rural areas are facing acute shortage of labour. Then why should a person not work for at least 10 days if not for 25 days? If a person is lazy enough not to go for work, should the Railways encourage him not to work, by offering him concessional tickets? One can understand special passes for the aged, sick and handicapped but not for people who are fit but are lazy, not to earn Rs.500 a month.