Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli railway station, where dogs enjoy a feast every day

November 14th, 2007 - 2:07 am ICT by admin  
Shamli (Uttar Pradesh), Oct.12 (ANI): As the train reaches the Hind railway station and the loco siren whistle hoots, several dogs run up to the drivers for their food. They know that they are a welcome here and in no condition will be shooed away.

The locomotive (engine) drivers of the trains running between Delhi and Saharanpur via Shamli, also known as the sugar-belt track, do not miss to feed dogs with Chapatis here.

“I am here for the last four years and ever since I came here all the drivers have been feeding the dogs here everyday,” said S. P. Singh, Station Master of the Hind Railway Station.

The practice to feed the canines has been on for a long time. It is followed by a long held belief that the gesture ensures safety for the passengers and the train as well.

Train drivers claim that this convention dates back to the very day when the first train from Shahdara and operated by Martin Burn Light Railway steamed in at the Hind railway station decades ago.

It is said because the dogs symbolise “Shani”(the Saturn God of Hindus), thus, offering Chapatis to the dogs means paying respect to Him. It is hoped that the Saturn God will take care of the passengers’s safety in their journey till they reach their destinations.

“There are two three reasons behind it. One is that the drivers have practiced this for a long time. Our old drivers also used to feed the dogs like this. And the other reason is that it is believed that dogs symbolise Shani and for the safety of people, we feed the dogs,” said Chandrakant Mishra, a train driver.

“People believe that the dogs represent Gods. So they offer Chapatis to them. Two accidents happened here some time back but none was injured in that,” said Rajendra Singh, a gangman, Hind Railway Station.

Reportedly, around 10 months ago, a portion of track got displaced and this was noticed by some school children. Instantly, they informed the driver of an approaching train about it.

Another incident recalled by the locals took place six months ago when a train caught fire but none of the passengers was affected by fire.

All these incidents took place near Hind Railway Station that, in turn, has reinforced the belief of feeding the dogs as the factor that ensures safety.

No matter what made people to follow such a belief, but the dogs are certainly having a great time relishing Chapatis without scavenging around for their daily meal! (ANI)

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