Railways Introduced Toilets In Indian Trains After A Passenger Wrote This Humourous Letter

by Shreya Ghosh
Railways Introduced Toilets In Indian Trains After A Passenger Wrote This Humourous Letter

While travelling somewhere on a train, passengers will surely need to use the toilet. If the journey is long, you might need to rush to the washroom more times. Though most toilets on Indian trains smell awful and are far away from proper hygiene, travellers do not have any option but to use the washroom. Interestingly, passengers did not have the privilege to use toilets inside all the trains before 1909. It is a very amusing story of how toilets came into existence in Indian Railways.

A Passenger Wrote A Humourous Letter To Initiate Toilets In Indian Trains

Decades back during British rule, most passengers travelling on trains did not have the luxury to use toilets. Instead, they had to wait for hours till they reach the next station and use the washrooms there. For over half a century, Indian trains ran without toilets until a passenger wrote a letter. Long long back on 2 July 1909, Okhil Chandra Sen wrote a letter about constructing toilets in trains. He wrote the letter to the railway authorities of the Sahibganj Divisional office in West Bengal.

Also read: Travelling With Kids Below 5 Years? Here’s How To Book Train Tickets With IRCTC

An ordinary Bengali, Okhil Chandra Sen wrote his miserable experience of missing the train at the Ahmedpur railway station as he had to rush to the restroom. Though the letter had a lot of grammatical mistakes and many find the letter to be hilarious, it holds very significant importance in Indian railways and its history. This letter introduced the initiation of toilets in Indian trains which turned out to be extremely helpful for every passenger. Rail Museum, New Delhi has the hand-painted form of the letter. Check out the letter here.

Picture credit (copy of the letter)- Change Started

Railways Introduced Washrooms After Receiving This Letter From Okhil Chandra Sen

This letter can easily be denoted as one of the Indian railways’ biggest revolutions. The railways did some research and investigation after receiving the letter and then they started toilets in all the lower-class carriages covering a distance of over 50 miles.

Also read: Indian Railways To Run 6 Special Trains Between Mumbai & Mangalore For Ganesh Chaturthi

The biggest credit for this humongous change in the history of Indian railways goes to none other than Okhil Chandra Sen. No wonder how many more years would have taken before passengers could use toilets in trains and wait for the next station.