In pictures: Indians hope new government will get the country back on track
Indian passengers sleep on board the Kalka Mail train
As he pours mugs of piping hot tea for his customers on a station platform, Devdutt Sharma is understandably delighted at the prospect of a man such as Narendra Modi, who used to help at his father’s tea stall, becoming India’s leader. “If a tea boy can become a prime minister, it’s great,” said the 55-year-old Mr Sharma who spends 18 hours a day selling tea, bottled water and snacks at Hathras station in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.
An Indian vendor sells snacks on board the Kalka Mail train.
Indian woman, Hazra Begum from Farrukhabad sits with her child waiting for the train at the Hathras Junction. She and her husband Abrar Ahmad want the next government to provide proper schooling and medical support to their young family. Although Congress brought in legislation to guarantee free schooling for all children aged between six and 14, the Ahmads shell out 400 rupees each month on private education. “I don’t want to ruin my children’s future by sending them to government schools where teachers hardly show up,” said Ahmad, 28.
Passengers travel in a non-air conditioner sleeper coach on-board the train.
Rekha Das, a mother of three from the poverty-wracked West Bengal state, knows little about BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and is hestitant to pin her hopes on any one political party. “Everything has become unaffordable,” said the 53-year-old. A sharp increase in the cost of basic foodstuffs such as onions, which rose four-fold at one stage last year, has left middle-class households feeling the pinch.
An Indian man asleep in an air-conditioned compartment on board the Kalka Mail train.