The shocking tale of India’s ‘Cancer Train’

Bhatinda, June 10: Everyday, the dimly lit and shabby Bhatinda railway station in the Indian state of Punjab comes to life sharp at 9 pm. The reason? The arrival of a passenger train that’s been long christened as the Cancer train on platform no 2.

The train leaves Bhatinda around 9.25 pm and covers a distance of about 325 km with 26 halts to reach Bikaner in the Indian state of Rajasthan at 6 am. Sometimes, it’s an hour or two late.

The most remarkable feature of this train is that 60% of its population are cancer patients of all ages who come from all across Punjab. This 12-coach train has gained its name from a sudden increase in cancer cases in Punjab that many blame on pesticide use, growing pollution and hardly any response by authorities.