Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke to the loco pilot of the all-women Oxygen Express train, which transported the crucial gas needed for the treatment of critical patients of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) to Karnataka’s Bengaluru. PM Modi said during his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat that Sireesha Gajani has been doing an outstanding job.
“Mothers and sisters of this country would be proud to know that one of the Oxygen Express is being run by an all-women crew. Every woman of the country would be proud of this. Every Indian must be proud,” the Prime Minister said as he introduced her.
“Sireesha ji, you are doing an outstanding job. Many women like you came forward during the coronavirus pandemic and gave the nation the strength to find against the disease. You are also a great example of naari shakti (woman power),” he said.
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The Prime Minister asked the Indian Railways employee about what inspires her to do her job. “I got the motivation to work from my parents. They encouraged me,” she said.
She also told PM Modi she worked with great pleasure as she piloted the train carrying oxygen. “I happily worked for this mission. At the time of the delivery of oxygen express, everything is checked from every point of view—safety, formation, leakage. The Indian Railways has been supportive to me. I was given a green path to operate this train. I covered 125 kilometres in one-and-a-half-hour. The railways took the responsibility and I shouldered mine,” she said.
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The Oxygen Express train piloted by an “all-female crew” reached Bengaluru with 120 metric tonnes of medical oxygen from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand to “ensure continued supply of oxygen for COVID-19 patients in the State,” railways minister Piyush Goyal said on May 22. “The 7th Oxygen Express to Karnataka has arrived in Bengaluru from Tatanagar (Jamshedpur) on Friday. This Oxygen Express train piloted by an all-female crew will ensure continued supply of oxygen for COVID-19 patients in the State,” railways minister Piyush Goyal tweeted,” he tweeted.
Prime Minister Modi also told listeners on his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat that the production of liquid medical oxygen, a key component in the treatment of Covid patients, has gone up by ten times. “In the normal course, we were producing 900 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in a day. Today, the production has gone up to 9,500 metric tonnes a day – an increase of almost 10 per cent,” he said.
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Railways minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday a 20,000 metric tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) have been delivered across the country by the Indian Railways’ Oxygen Express during the ongoing pandemic. “OxygenExpress trains have crossed the milestone of providing 20,000 MT of Oxygen for COVID-19 patients across. So far, 300 Oxygen Express trains have completed their journey in service to the Nation,” he tweeted.
Officials have said Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Assam have been the key beneficiaries of these Oxygen Expresses.