Many on the internet are claiming that the railway ministry will now charge the full-ticket price even for a 1-year-old child.
A Twitter user Dr Sai Anamika Jha claimed that now you have to book tickets for children too. She satirically wrote on Twitter in Hindi, “without prior notice, the government has imposed full rate tickets for children too. First, the government ended concessions for the elderly and they are taking money from children too. (They)Will not leave anyone.”
Another Twitter user claimed the same news. He satirically wrote, “The inebriation of Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav has not subsided properly, and now Modi ji has started giving one gift after another. First, the concessional half ticket charge of senior citizens was made full, and now children also have to take full tickets.
We found another such claim on Twitter —
We also found similar claims on Facebook —
Using relevant keyword search, we came across the same post link from the Jagran substantiating the claims at least with headline and subhead. The tweet was shared on August 17 at 6:20 pm.
Upon opening the link, we found that the article has been completely changed and now it tells a different story on the claims. Now, Jagran denies any such changes in the railway fare price pertaining to children in the updated version of the article.
We compared both the articles and found that Jagran had published the story without prior authentication and upon finding the truth it has deleted the whole article and replaced it with an updated one with the same link.
We also found that both the articles are written by the same author — Vikas Malhotra. Vikas accepted that he made a mistake and did not cross-check the story before publishing it.
He also tendered an apology in the updated article.
We also found a clarification from the railway ministry itself. The ministry issued a press release debunking the allegations of charging full tickets for children. The ministry said, “There have been some recent media reports that claim that Indian Railways has changed the rule with regards to booking of tickets for Children traveling in the train. These reports claim that now children between the age of one to four years will have to get a ticket for traveling in the train.”
It added, “These news items and media reports are misleading. It is informed that Indian Railways has not introduced any changes with regards to booking of tickets for children traveling in the train. On the demand of the passengers, an option has been given to them to buy a ticket and book a berth for their under 5-year-old child if they want. And if they don’t want a separate berth, then it is free, same like it used to be earlier.”
It further added, “A Circular dated 06.03.2020 of Ministry of Railways states that Children under five years of age shall be carried free. However, a separate berth or seat(in chair car) shall not be given. Therefore purchase of any ticket is not required provided a separate berth is not claimed. However, if berth/seat shall be sought on a voluntary basis for children of age below 5 years then full adult fare shall be charged.”
In our fact check, we found that Jagran did run a story claiming that Indian Railways will now charge full-price ticket for children without checking the veracity of it. Ministry of Railways has denied the claims. Hence, the viral report (now deleted) is fake.