Tahlka news Bureau, Delhi: They looked bright in their blue coats and black trousers as they stood at the Hazrat Nizamuddin station on Tuesday morning and welcomed passengers on board the Gatimaan Express with roses and chocolates. Ladies and gentlemen, meet your train hostesses and stewards! They may not have to take you through a demonstration on how to fasten your seat belt and how to pull an oxygen mask. But their job is no less challenging. As India's fastest train touches speeds of up to 160 kmph in its journey between Delhi and Agra, they weave in and out among the seats, balancing trays of food. It is a tricky job trying to make sure that they don't spill hot liquid on the clothes of passengers. "It is a difficult task, but we have proved that women can do it," said Maya, one of the hostesses. The hostesses were briefed on all that was on the menu, vegetarian and non-vegetarian, and about the details of the train. At the end of Gatimaan's maiden journey, the passengers were all praise for the women and men in blue. "The passengers were very happy. They greeted us warmly," Maya said. Asked whether this service should be extended to other trains, she replied in the positive. "The service should be extended, but there should be criteria as women cannot work on all trains. This is a high-class train with facilities and the timings are very suitable for us," Maya added. Pantry staff member Bhupinder said the food on board Gatimaan is much better than that on other trains. The entire onboard arrangements, from catering to housekeeping to employing the hostesses, are managed by the IRCTC. At the end of the 100 minute journey, the hostess smiled warmly and reminded you to travel by the Gatimaan again.
Gatimaan Express: The cheerful women and men in blue