The Railways may be seriously considering the extension of medical benefits to all the adopted children of its employees. Last year, an NGO had accused the Railways of discriminating against adopted children of its employees by offering cover to only the first adopted child. No such limit existed in case of biological children.
However, the Railways may now be taking a positive stand as it recently told the Delhi High Court that it will be “actively considering” the issue, which was raised in a PIL by a woman employee. The Railway employee in question had put in a request for a Unique Medical Identity Card for both her adopted children. However, the benefit was provided to only her first adopted child. Following this incident, the Families of Joy Foundation, an NGO had approached the court to direct the Indian Railways to extend medical benefits to all adopted children of employees.
The NGO’s petition had stated that the Indian Railways had made amendments to its medical policy by putting a limit to the number of adopted children who could avail benefits. Biological children, however, irrespective of number, were all covered, which is a clear case of discrimination between adopted and biological children. The petition called such discrimination ‘arbitrary and unreasonable’.
The matter will be further heard in May.