BEST chairman apologises to freedom fighter who was denied free bus ride

Aug 03, 2013, 11:37 IST | Kranti Vibhute

Nana Ambole said that the bus conductor who insulted 86-year-old Sumati Samant would be suspended; also promised to visit other freedom fighters who have been humiliated on buses, to make amends

The BEST bus conductor who misbehaved with 86-year-old freedom fighter Sumati Samant will be suspended for not allowing the octogenarian to use her valid pass for a free bus ride.

After MiD DAY reported on her experience on board a BEST bus, the Undertaking’s chairman Nana Ambole visited the Samant family yesterday and apologised to Samant for her ordeal on July 27.

Eating humble pie: The BEST chairman promised to ensure that all conductors are aware of the privileges given to freedom fighters in future, and take strong action against bus depot managers and conductors if such incidents recur. Pic/Satyajit Desai

The chairman has also decided to spend August 15 by visiting all freedom fighters who have been humiliated or slighted by BEST employees in the past. In his visits, he plans to apologise to them and felicitate them for their services to the nation.

Click to view: 86-yr-old told she can't ride on BEST bus with freedom fighter pass
MiD DAY report on August 2

MiD DAY reported yesterday how a BEST bus conductor snatched Samant’s freedom fighter bus pass and accused ‘people like her’ of showing their passes and plunging BEST into losses (‘86-year-old told she can’t ride on BEST bus with freedom fighter pass’).

Speaking to MiD DAY, Ambole said, “The BEST bus conductor will be suspended from service. To avoid any such incidents in future, we will make sure all the conductors know about this rule. If any conductor is found misbehaving in this manner with any freedom fighter, then the BEST bus depot manager and the conductor both will be suspended. We will find out about more such cases and visit their homes on August 15 to apologise to them personally and felicitate them.”

Samant, said, “I have no issues with the BEST bus service. But since this incident, I don’t want it to be repeated with any other freedom fighter. I would request the BEST bus chairman not to remove the conductor from his service forever, but only take some action on him. After all, he too could have a family to look after.” 

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