RPF personnel briefed on Gender issues – Security & Protection of Women are a Parallel Track in the Railways

Tiruchi:  A seminar on gender sensitisation and crime against women was organised for the field-level Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel at RPF Training Centre here on Friday. RPF head constables and constables of Southern Railway and South Western Railway, and faculty members of RPF Training Centre besides officers and staff of Tiruchi division attended the programme. The ways to deal with both genders and ensuring safety of railway passengers were explained to the participants.

The RPF constables, whenever deployed for platform duty, were asked to approach the ladies compartments of a train to check out with women passengers if they had encountered any problem en-route while travelling. The women constables were asked to board ladies coaches to get information from women passengers. Such an exercise would instill confidence in women passengers.

Men constables were asked to involve women constables in case they found any woman passenger in distress at the railway station and guide them accordingly. The programme was organised on the instruction of the Railway Board.  At the meeting that was attended by around 275 railway protection personnel, the divisional railway manager Manjula Rangarajan instructed them to enforce safety regulations as the festive season was fast approaching.

The season of Diwali is seen as the most excruciating of times by the railways, as they have to cope with the multiple tasks of protecting the women and children from getting stranded, and to stop smuggling of firecrackers and other forbidden items in the trains by the passengers. Manjula however laid special emphasis on protecting the stranded children and asked the police personnel to be socially approachable to women. The meeting was also attended by Divisional Security Commissioner Senthil Kumaresan, and Assistant Security Commissioners A Kalaiarasan, and A S M M I Hussein.

Meanwhile, the railways officials said that random checking of passengers would be started at the railway stations of Tiruchirappalli division from next week. Since inflammable items are a threat to overall safety of passengers, train operations, and the eventual loss to the railway property, the railways have taken a serious view of the situation, officials pointed out.

The railways, particularly the Tiruchirappalli division, is perturbed that large scale consignment of explosive fireworks and inflammable sparklers might be transported by railways passengers ahead of the festival season across destinations. As such, the railway protection force was alerted to check baggage and parcels for any objectionable materials.

Since such inflammable items are a threat to overall safety of passengers, train operations, and the eventual loss to the railway property, the railways have taken a serious view of the situation, the official pointed out.

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