“Saving with fitness too: A unique experiment has been done to encourage fitness at Delhi’s Anand Vihar railway station,” said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal of the new Squat Machine installed at Anand Vihar Railway Station in Delhi. He also added that such machines are soon to be installed at railway stations across the country.
In the clip, a man can be seen doing squats (an exercise that strengthens one’s legs and gluteus muscles), to eventually get a platform ticket that comes fluttering out of the machine once he completes 30 repetitions of the exercise (within 180 seconds, mind you).
While some are praising the initiative, other social media users have argued that in a country like India, those who need free tickets the most are the poorest – and they are often overworked and frail.
Some have also suggested that before the initiative can succeed the way it is designed, there will most likely be an enterprising individual who takes up “squatting for a living”, getting people free tickets for a small cut.
In Russia, a similar arrangement is in place at Vystavochnaya station, west of Moscow. In exchange for 30 squats, passengers were able to get a free ride on the subway. The machine was installed in 2013, ahead of the Sochi Olympics.
Here is a video of the Russian model, along with responses from Indian social media users.