RPF bolsters safety of lone women passengers


The Railway Protection Force of Tiruchi Division has begun implementing 'My Saheli', a pro-active initiative aimed at enhancing safety of women passengers travelling alone in express trains throughout their journey till their destination. The initiative has been put in place consequent to a direction from the RPF headquarters at New Delhi.

A separate team comprising RPF Woman Sub Inspector and a couple of Constables has been constituted in Tiruchi Junction to implement the initiative for trains originating from here. In respect of trains originating from other places in Tiruchi Division and where there were no RPF women personnel, the RPF male staff in uniform were performing the task. Under this initiative which was put in place in Tiruchi Division a few days ago, the RPF team would access the passenger reservation chart well in advance to find out details of women passengers travelling alone in express trains. Presently, all express trains were being operated only with reserved compartments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team would approach the women passengers concerned travelling alone and inform them about the RPF Security Helpline number '182' to contact in case of any emergency situation besides building confidence in them that their safety would be ensured during their journey till their destination. The team would note down the seat number and the coach number in which women passengers were found travelling alone and pass on the same information to the RPF Divisional Security Control room at Tiruchi, RPF officers told The Hindu. The team would also ascertain from such women passengers about the destination station in which they were going to alight.

The information from the security control room would be passed on to the RPF personnel deployed in stations in which the express trains would halt enroute to ensure that women passengers travelling alone were safe. The information was being uploaded in a google excel sheet for other railway divisions and zones to access them. The officers say personal information including the name of the passenger would not be sought from the women passengers. The team had been circulating pamphlets containing the RPF Security Helpline Number 182 during such interactions with the passengers to sensitise them about the facility that could be made use of in case they felt insecure during the journey.

The initiative was being implemented in trains including the Tiruchi - Chennai - Tiruchi special train that is operated on the mainline section via Thanjavur, Kumbakonam and Mayiladuthurai; Mayiladuthurai - Mysore - Mayiladuthurai Jan Shatabdhi expresses; Karaikal - Ernakulam- Karaikal expresses and Tiruchi - Howrah- Tiruchi expresses, say the officers. The 'My Saheli ' initiative has been put in place in all the zonal railways across the country on the direction of the Director General, RPF, say the officers.

Upon alighting at the destination station, the women passengers would be asked by the RPF team in that station about their travel and if they had encountered any disturbance or harassment during the course of their journey. Feedback would also be ascertained from them about the security aspect and corrective measures taken if any unsatisfactory feedback came through, a senior RPF officer said. The same procedure would be followed by the RPF teams of other zones and divisions for trains coming to Tiruchi Junction or to stations falling under the Tiruchi Division.

RPF officers say escort teams were being deployed on board express trains originating from Tiruchi Division. The train escort system has been resumed ever since the rail services recommenced during the current lockdown period.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 9:44:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/rpf-bolsters-safety-of-lone-women-passengers/article32983834.ece

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