We are takes Concert steps for the security of women and children Commuters
In a major step towards protecting women and children the RPF personnel of Western Railway had rescued 422 children and 45 women have been rescued and handed over to their family and NGOs in the current year 2019 (from Jan to July). The effort is part of initiative by the Western Railway to provide various facilities for the women commuters, especially, pertaining to safety and security as well as child protection measures.
WR is the first railways in India and in the entire world to introduce the dedicated “Ladies’ Special” train in the Mumbai suburban section, way back in 1992. Further, Western Railway has added many more feathers to its cap such as CCTV cameras and talk-back system inside ladies’ coaches and Whatsapp Chat group – SAKHI for the security and aid of suburban women commuters. They also initiated various campaigns and activities to provide a safe and comfortable travelling experience to women commuters.
According to a press release issued by WR CPRO Ravinder Bhakar, Child Help Desks have been set up at important stations across Western railway like Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus, Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Ratlam and Rajkot stations and more such Help Desks will be operational soon in 15 other stations namely, Anand, Nadiad, Godhra, Indore, Ujjain, Dr. Ambedkarnagar, Meghnagar, Dahod, Surendranagar, Morbi, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Junagadh, Botad and Bhavnagar.
The run away children rescued are handed over to their parents, Police or NGO. The security of women commuters is of prime concern and Western Railway is taking every step to bring smile on their faces with various initiatives. To complement the use of All India Security Helpline Number 182, W.Rly has been created a WhatsApp chat group “SAKHI” (No. 9004449698) for women consisting of RPF officer and lady commuters of Mumbai suburban section as a common platform to share and resolve grievances, suggestion. Also, the Helpline No. 1512 is being monitored by GRP. W. Rly’s Railway Protection Force (RPF) plays a very prominent and proactive role in rescuing runaway children and reuniting them with their families.
High level coordination is maintained in this regard with state police, intelligence agencies and NGOs to enforce security measures for anti-trafficking and preventing exploitation of women and children. Western Railway has inducted 232 personnel of Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC) and 97 lady home guards to supplement the efforts of RPF for passenger security on suburban section, especially women commuters as well as for crowd management at platforms on Western Railway. With this, the ladies security personnel over Western Railway’s suburban section has almost doubled, thereby increasing the safety provisions to women.
CCTV Cameras have also been installed for 24×7 surveillance at important stations over W. Rly. All Coaches reserved for female passengers in suburban services are covered by CCTV cameras at platforms/stations. 251 CCTV cameras have also been installed in 51 ladies coaches i.e. 17 rakes of Western Railway.
Bhakar further stated that Western Railway has also launched a special drive against eve-teasing wherein security staff has been instructed to attend ladies coaches and keep watch over the activities of vagabonds and suspicious looking men. Mahila Vahini Coy consisting of 84 lady staff has been set up under IPF at Mumbai division. They are deployed for train escorting of ladies special trains and other security duties as per requirement in Mumbai Suburban.
Mail and Express trains are being escorted by GRP over Western Railway, along with all the ladies compartments of Local trains of suburban section during night from 21:00 hrs. to 06:00 hrs daily. On an average, 122 trains are being escorted daily by armed RPF over Western Railway. Time to time review of train escorting and surprise checking of escorts is conducted by the superior and subordinate officers. Western Railway’s Railway Protection Force (RPF) also plays a very prominent and proactive role in rescuing runaway children and reuniting them with their families.
Also, a large number of vulnerable children come in contact with Railways as passengers or are abandoned, trafficked. Whenever a distressed child is found at the railway station, there is a need to care and make sure that the child does not fall in wrong hands. These children are occasionally noticed travelling in trains or living on the platforms in and around the railway stations.
In the year 2018, 301 children and 28 women were rescued while in the current year (2019), 422 children and 45 women have been rescued up to the month of July and handed over to their families and NGOs. High level coordination is maintained in this regard with state police, intelligence agencies and NGOs to enforce security measures for anti-trafficking and preventing exploitation of women and children.
Quick Response Team (QRT) is deployed at important stations over Western Railway and passenger awareness campaigns are conducted from time to time.