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Safety Measures for Female Passengers by Indian Railways

From the honored designation of the Indian Army to the respected position of Border Security Force, the female force in India has proved their bravery and mettle in every field. Under the constitution of India, women are entitled to the right to equality, dignity, and freedom. In India, It is believed that God resides only in those places where women are respected, feel safer and happy. However, women in India continue to face significant difficulties and there’re fewer places where women feel safe. Many legal acts and laws are framed continuously like the Dowry Prohibition Act, Sexual Harassment Act, Equal Remuneration Act and so on. These days, the increasing number of women-related crime and accidents make pressure on the Indian Government to take strict actions and decisions to control them to every extent. Where the entire world is under the process of framing regulations and laws for women safety, how could Indian Railways lag behind! The Indian Railways is the most active part of our country contributing to economic development. In the support of digitization, it has launched its services online for easy access and use. Any passengers can order food online in train, check their train running status, live status, buy unreserved tickets via UTS app along with various complain related apps like RailMadad which is especially for lodging complaints.

Recommended Read:How to buy unreserved tickets via Smartphone

Unfortunately, a large population of women are unaware of their rights and legislations framed for their safety and safeguarding and security. There are so many laws related to woman’s rights involving in fundamental rights and legislative rights. At present, women are prey to harassment in moving trains. After noticing this fact, the Indian Railways has also introduced a series of sections and subsections in the Railway Act which are specially framed for ladies traveling in train. According to Indian Railways Act 1989, following laws are made for women passengers’

  • Section 58 of Indian Railways Act 1989
  • Earmarking of compartment, etc., for ladies. According to this act,the Railways, in every train, must earmark the compartment/berth/carriage/seats which are exclusive to be used by female passengers. This will restrict the male passengers and miscreants to enter the ladies’ compartment.

  • Sections 162 of Indian Railways Act 1989
  • Carriage or Compartment which are reserved for women cannot be occupied by men. Under this section, if a boy’s age is less than 12 years; he is allowed to travel in these compartments with his relative or family. It is not compulsory for the women to use these compartments, but even if these compartments are vacant, even then men or boys having age more than 12 years are not permitted to travel.

  • Section 310 of Indian Railways Act 1989
  • At stations where lady ticket collectors are posted, it is their duty to especially interest themselves in the accommodating ladies passengers. If a Lady Ticket Collector is not present at the station, the male staffs are not authorised to interfere with the lady passengers.It’s the sole duty of the lady TTE to check the tickets or assist them in any problems.

  • Section 311 of Indian Railways Act 1989
  • If any military personnel is found entering compartments/carriage reserved for females, he should be politely prevented from entering such compartments and advised to travel in general compartments.

  • Section 139 of Indian Railways Act 1989
  • Power to remove persons.During train travel, when a woman with her child is not accompanied by a male passenger and found without any ticket/railway pass from 6:00PM to 6:00 AM; no railway authority can remove her either from the station where she has commenced her journey or terminal station. Such removal can be done only during the day time only when any railway headquarters will be found en route before her termination station. Also, a lady constable has to be accompanied during the process. However, removal cannot be done during the night, even if the headquarter is found or staffs are with lady constable.

Integrated Emergency Response Management
CCTV and Monitoring rooms are being installed to provide 24 X 7 securities for women at stations and in trains.For easy identifications of lady coaches, the North Frontier Zone of Indian Railways hadcolored the lady coaches with pink colour. Indian Railways relocate the ladies compartment in the middle of the train to avoid accidents and make them feel safe. To support women empowerment, the Gandhi Nagar Railway Station, Jaipur is handed over to women crew. This railway station is fully operated by 28 women employees, including Ticket Checker, RPF, booking Supervisor and so on.Another railway station that comes in the suburban category – Matunga Railway Station, Mumbai is also fully operated by the women employees.

To ensure the safety of women traveler, Indian Railways has launched following services:

  • in vulnerable and identified routes/sections, 2500 trains are escorted by Railway Protection Force daily in addition to 2200 trains escorted by Government Railway police of different states daily.

  • Security Helpline number 182 is made for securities-related assistance to passengers in distress.

  • Social networking sites are trending these days to address passengers’ issues. Use the twitter handle of Indian railways and tweet your concern. Here’s how twitter helps while traveling in train.

  • Women can prosecuteany male passenger under the law if they enter into ladies coach.

  • An Integrated Security System (ISS) consisting of surveillance of vulnerable stations through Close Circuit Television Camera Network, Access Control etc. has been sanctioned to improve surveillance mechanism over 202 railway stations.

  • Additionally, an Eyewatch Railways app is launched in Mumbai for the protection of women.
  • Panic Emergency Buttons will be set near the switches in compartments of the trains. So if a woman is harassed, shecan push this button through which the guard will receive an alert message and inform the RPF available in the train. This process will help the RPF to catch the miscreants in train.

Indian Railways is expanding its services and it is concerned for a safe travel experience. With these measures and acts it is on the way to make safety and security of women passengers as its first priority.