My Story: “All You Need To Know To Travel With Your Dog In Indian Railways”

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It is so amazing and nice to know that Indian railways have the facility that you can take your dog along when you decide to travel by train. Such options are always such a relief to canine parents who want to take their fur babies when they travel. Although it is a bit daunting at times in terms of ticket availability, cleanliness, etc. For me, it is the best option because I never want to leave Jenny behind in a kennel as much as possible. So far in 5 years of companionship, I left her in the kennel only once and regretted. We have already documented our road trip when we took her with us from Pune to Uttarakhand via Delhi in a car. It was memorable and Jenny adopted the whole journey so well that I was confident that we can really take her on all our adventures now. We have taken her to Goa, Udaipur, Hampi, Konkan and some other places so far.

All set for the train journey – Pune to Delhi

Let me break it down into two parts:

Last year after Diwali, we had sudden plans to go attend my dad’s retirement party in my hometown and we were thinking of the road trip again. It is always fun but tiring and time-consuming, so we thought of attempting the train travel with Jenny. We did some research, read some blogs and watched some videos to see what does it take. The information is scattered all over. It is usually just a list without any mention of real-time issues especially if you haven’t done it before.

  • If you want to book tickets in 1st Class, book the 2 birth coupe if you are two people along with the dog. You can take your dog along with you in the coupe. If the tickets are booked from the counter, then an application needs to be submitted to the station master to request for a coupe. If the ticket is booked online then IRCTC online booking also has the option to select coupe.
  • If you have tickets for any other class, you need to keep your dog in the brake van for the entire duration.

In both the situations, you need to contact the parcel office at least one day prior to the commencement of your train journey with a confirm PNR number. Show up at the station 3 hours before the journey to complete the formalities. You need to fill in the form, show vaccine history of your dog along with a certificate from the vet that your dog is fit to travel. They would weigh the dog and will make a receipt based on weight.

Problems in taking your dog in 1st AC:

  • It is important to have the consent of your co-passenger in 1st AC. If they are not comfortable or the dog is creating any nuisance, the dog needs to be taken to the brake van. To tackle this, even if you are only 1 person with the dog, book 2 tickets in coupe.

Problems in taking your dog in brake van and some tips to solve them:

  • Your dog is your responsibility. All his water, food, comfort needs to be taken care of by you. The railway will bear no responsibility in case of death or illness.

Tip: Keep treats, food and water for them all the time. Make sure you give motion sickness tablet if they are not used to travel. Choose a train which is an overnight journey, especially during summer-time.

  • There will be less time to meet your dog in between. You need to make sure that you choose a train which has a reasonable number of stops.

Tip: There should be some 10 mins stop so that you can feed your pooch and take him for a short walk to finish his business.

  • The dog box in the brake van is usually dirty. So be mentally prepared for that.

Tip: Try to choose a train which starts from your boarding station so that if need be you can ask some cleaning staff to clean. spread anti-tick powder on the surface of the box thoroughly and on your pooch too.

  • Although it depends on the temperament of your dog, they would feel anxious and confused when you put them in the box, which is natural. So do visit them as much as possible so that they know that you are around.

Tip: Take your dog a few days before the journey to the platform through the parcel office route. They will recognize the smell when they visit on the day of travel. Try to convince the guard in the brake van if he allows you to sit there for some time to calm your dog.

  • If the train is not commencing from your station, and is coming from some other station; there is a chance that there is a dog already in the dog box. There is no way to find that out unless the train reaches your station.

Tip: Always prefer a train which starts at your departure station.

  • There is no defined rule on when to submit a form for your dog. This is based on my experience in Pune, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Tip: Don’t assume, go to the station a few days prior to your journey day and ask when should you come to fill the form.

Finally when we de-boarded at Nizamuddin Station, Delhi

Our experience: It was overall ok, I am glad that I could take her with me in train safely. The guard was nice and very understanding. Although you have to be patient and follow all the rules and regulations. I am sure it would be so much easy to take a dog in a 1st AC. I will try to get the ticket to such train with proper planning for next time.

Jenny’s experience: Naturally, she was very scared and confused initially. She also cried a bit, we kept on visiting her on every station even if just for a couple of minutes. Slowly she understood that we are around. In the return journey, she was all calm and understanding that it is just a journey and we all will be together soon. 🙂

I have tried to cover all issues, rules, aspects and personal experience here. Feel free to ask in the comment section if you have any questions. Happy travels with your pooch. 🙂

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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