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I didn't know about this upto a few days ago when I noticed that the railway fare consession for senior citizens is showing up discrimination by the government and it is based on age and gender. To put it in simple terms, females become senior citizens at 58 years of age, while the males become senior citizens at 60 years of age. It doesn't end here. Females get higher consession than males.

Since I am not an expert in constitutional and legal issues, I have some questions regarding this. India is a free country where the constitution grants equall rights for all citizens. Then, how can the government discriminate on fares based on age and gender of citizens, that too, not uniformly but only in case of senior citizens?

To make the picture clearer, let me cite examples of what I am talking about. Suppose, I take fares for Howrah - New Delhi Rajdhani Express via Gaya, train number 12301. Refer to the fare chart below:-

rajdhani express fare chart

As you can see, female senior citizens pay Rs. 175, 250 and 435 lesser than male senior citizens in 3AC, 2AC & 1AC classes respectively. And, India talks about equality for men & women! Isn't this a gender bias committed by the government of the largest democracy in the world?

Is it legal? Is it constitutional? I shall seek opinions of the experts.


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Note: The above fare chart has been taken from indiarailinfo.com

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