Kerala

Railway to belt out messages in popular tunes in Kerala

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The initiative is part of the ongoing campaign ‘Life is Precious’

A welcome change awaits train passengers who now turn a disinterested ear to the monotonous announcements over the public announcement system at railway stations.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF), in a novel initiative, is set to release an album titled ‘Rail Suraksha’ comprising nine songs set to the tunes of famous Malayalam chart busters and sung by noted playback singers to drive home awareness messages for passenger safety and security.

‘Life is Precious’

The initiative is part of the ongoing ‘Life is Precious’ campaign being carried out by the RPF since last July.

The campaign has been launched after it was found that avoidable deaths on tracks increased from 264 between January and July in 2018 to around 364 during the same period last year.

“The songs to be released shortly in CD format will be given to all railway stations under the Thiruvananthapuram railway division to be played through the public announcement system frequently,” said S. Ramakrishnan, Commissioner RPF, Thiruvananthapuram Division. The songs penned by lyricist Baburaj Kanampur will have a combined length of 12 minutes.

Four out of the nine songs have already been recorded.

The RPF also plans to use the songs as part of its awareness campaigns in several schools and colleges.

Social media

They will also be uploaded over multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and WhatsApp, to maximise the reach of the messages.

Among the songs included is one tuned along the lines of a traditional boat race song.

“We chose popular Malayalam songs since we felt they could best carry the safety messages. It will be far more effective than distributing pamphlets and notices to the people,” said T.S. Gopakumar, Assistant Commissioner, RPF, Ernakulam.

The messages being conveyed through these songs include never to board a moving train or board from off-side, not to jaywalk across railway tracks, not to pull the chain without a valid reason, to leave the ladies’ compartments to them, not to usurp the facilities dedicated to differently abled passengers, and to reach out to the RPF for help through its helpline number 182.

Effective

“We limited the ‘Life is Precious’ campaign to awareness in the initial months before moving to prosecuting offenders. We have prosecuted nearly 500 people since then. It seems to have the desired deterrent effect, as we have been able to arrest the alarming increasing trend of untoward incidents in the six-month period ending December 31,” RPF official said.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 2:43:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/railway-to-belt-out-safety-messages-in-popular-tunes/article30479815.ece

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