Even kids understand the rail budget better

By Madhurie Singh, March 15, 2012


Last night my sons were really upset with me. I would not let them watch TV as I was finding humor in one of the silly discussions about after effects of the rail budget.

I am still not able to fathom that these so called intelligent TV anchors are really stupid or pretending to be one!

All channels are having heated discussions about the effect of the marginal increase in the cost of the rail travel charges after 9 years!!!!

I knew my kids will need an explanation where I will have to tell them what was so interesting in this chaotic program that I was watching and not letting them watch their favorite program!

So as a treat I went to tell them a story at night, but my sons were keener on the discussion.  Though I was in no mood to tell them in what a foolish state of TV news channels we are into but I did take this to discuss the rail budget with them.

So I told them the discussion was about the travel charge being increased by Rs 100-500 per class per train as it was not done for last 9 years. So I asked them it was fair to increase the fare. My son in class 3 was the first one to raise his hand. “Mom, that’s a homophones, fare and fair!” I quickly said yes and continued to the question. (By the way homophones are words which have same sound but different meanings)

So without batting their cute sleepy eyelids both agreed that after 9 years the fare must be increased. So I wanted to know if they had any clue about trains other than travelling.

I was quite happy to know that they knew what the fare would be used for and I added a few for their knowledge. The fare is used to run the trains, for diesel or electricity, to pay for the food on the trains, to maintain the seats, toilets, wheels, boogies, machines, wash and keep them clean, pay for the salaries of the people working for train services, pay for the ticket service, printing tickets, buying paper, printer, ink, eraser and pencils (added by my younger son), pay for the bed sheets and towels, water and papers, pay for the policemen in the trains, safety in the train, safety in the railway stations, transfer goods , packaging for the goods, emergencies and insurance of the life of all working for the railways. There were many points we missed but a lot are mentioned here.

“So is it fair to increase the fare? “ 

 “Of course mom! But why was there loud discussion in the program? ”

When a 7 and 9 year old can easily understand the need to increase the rail fare why can’t these TV people?

Well it’s simple; they just want to have discussion, irrespective of the topic. For they will not understand that on an average we travel less frequently from one city to another to have the impact of the increase in the fare in our personal budgets. It would be more pertinent and worthy to see a good intellectual discussion on price increase on  petrol and diesel cost and more than that on alternative resources of petrol and diesel!   

By this time both kids were in no mood to waste their time on foolish discussion and asked me to tell them a story about hippo, elephant , giraffe and potato which is a series I have been telling them since last 5years innovating the story based on what value I want them to learn. Where my younger son identifies with the giraffe, elder one with the elephant , hippo can be my hubby or me and potato is mostly the punching bag! 

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