The famous sitcom “Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai” aired on And TV, telecasted an episode where the characters have planned a journey to the scenic city Nainital. The journey was well-planned and the group boarded their train to Nainital. The plot takes a twist when a newly married couple with their ceremonial attire, enters the compartment and joins the group who were criminals. The train was put to halt at a railroad station en route due to bad weather. This was the perfect time when the couple offered sweets (Ladoo) to the entire group. After the intake of sweets the group fainted and lost their consciousness. It paved the way for the criminals to loot and plunder their compartment. The entire group was robbed and was left with nothing in their hands. Luckily they hired a taxi/cab to reach their home. However, the episode was made for entertainment purpose and had no resemblance to any realty or any such resemblance will be considered as a mere coincidence.
There are a number of similar incidents in train where public had and gone through such criminal offences. It occurs due to ignorance of the traveler or by denying to follow the railway rules and instructions, where it clearly announces not to consume anything or any food items from strangers or unauthorised vendors. It can be risky for life. The latest incident was of a Mumbaikar, Mr. Rajesh Kula, who was forced to travel by a general compartment due to non-availability of reserved tickets. As the clock stuck 6, the co-passengers started passing around food and water, also insisting him to eat together. This was a severe blunder he made as the food was heavily contaminated with medicines which caused dizziness and unconsciousness. After eating the food he fainted and lost all his belongings which contained two cell phones, INR 15,000 in cash, credit and debit cards. He reached Mangaluru, where railway police was alerted and shifted him to a local Government hospital. Situation was in control but Mr. Rajesh sweared that he will never consume anything in train offered by a stranger or any unlicensed vendors.
Recommended Read: How to identify Unauthorized Food Vendors at Station or Trains
Passengers have to be vigilant and alert when they are traveling in train. They might fall a prey to miscreants who are in search of gullible people, easy to target. Here are some tips to follow while traveling in train and to be smart enough to overcome such situation.
- Be eagle-eyed and alert. You can identify such people with their appearance.
- Avoid to leave your luggage unattended. Specially the side bags which you carry with your essentials like cash and cards.
- Do not drop at stations frequently by leaving your luggage in the compartment. It can easily be stolen.
- Do not accept any food items by the strangers or by co-passengers. It might not be safe.
- Be alert if they are insisting you to consume. Reply them in a strict tone and manner.
- Any food items can be poisoned. Do not consume any food sold at station premises or by any authorized vendors. One can order food by e-catering services like RailMitra which delivers fresh food in train to the passengers by ordering online.
- Avoid liquid items or milk products during journey especially from the stations. These drinks are intoxicated easily. Never accept if your co passenger offers you the same.
- Do not consume Pan Masala, Gutkha or any such chewy items. Do not buy them if sold in trains neither accept nor ask your fellow travelers for the same.
- Prefer AC compartments for your travel. They are safe.
- Avoid tea/coffee during the journey from the station. They can be harmful. You can order your tea/coffee from IRCTC vendors in the train. They are safe to consume.
- If you are traveling solo, make sure that your smartphones have all the helpline numbers saved in the speed dial list.
- There are instance when we unpack our food and leave the seat for some reasons. Never! Anyone can pollute your food with chemicals or medicines which can lead to dizziness after consumption. Do not leave your food unpacked.
Unfortunately, if you’re a prey to any such incidents in train there are some steps which you should immediately take to revive yourself from the situation.
- Contact the RPF Police Force: RPF officials are present at every station. When you are in your senses, contact them immediately and lodge a complaint. Mention your details and answer every query they ask. This information will be helpful in sniffing your lost luggage and capturing the criminals easily.
- Contact GRP Police: GRP police is also present at stations. They are responsible for the maintenance of law and order, detection and investigation of crime on the Railways. These forces help the affected travelers to lodge a complaint and start further investigation of the case.
- Dial 182: Indian Railways has launched a helpline number 182 where the passengers can file a complaint and the railway board will solve your grievance as soon as possible.
- Contact the station Master: Though station master may not be the correct authority, but passing of your information/incident to him will definitely be helpful. Sometimes, in railroad stations there are no RPF or GRP police available. In this case, you can contact station master who will arrange for all the necessary aid.
- Contact your relatives ASAP: Inform your family members or to close relatives ASAP. They will also arrange for your required possible help.
Recommended Read: Railway Protection Force: In the Force to Ensure Safe Journey
Remember! It’s the safety of yours which should be in the priority list while traveling. Do not indulge yourself in any act where miscreants or criminals catch you as a person who are trustworthy and can be easily deceived. Stay alert and make your journey smooth and happy!