Raj Narain Mishra, a resident of Rura village in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh, is better known as ‘train wale baba ji’.
For the past 28 years, this retired government employee has been offering free railway information service to people in his village. He uses the public address system of a temple to make announcements.
Raj Narain started a parallel railway enquiry system because the timings of trains in the region keep changing very frequently, and he wanted to help villagers get up early and leave for the station on time. Prior to this, he was working as a lab assistant at Ganesh Shanker Vidhyarthi Memorial Medical College in Kanpur. He launched the initiative while working at the college and used to travel between Rura and Kanpur every day. He has also extended the service to WhatsApp now and people with smartphones can receive information directly from him.
“Nearly 500 people from various localities of Rura wake up early only after hearing Mishra, who uses a loudspeaker and WhatsApp to update them about movement of trains,” a school teacher in the area told The Times of India.