The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has come up with an initiative aimed at enhancing and ensuring the safety of women and children at Thiruvananthapuram railway division. Under the programme, ‘Security on Wheels’, two WhatsApp groups, which have RPF personnel and women commuters as members, have been started.
Each group has nearly 100 members who travel frequently on trains. The objectives of the groups — SoW South and SoW North — are to address difficulties faced by passengers during their journey and enable RPF personnel to communicate with them. The groups were started after the awareness programmes conducted by RPF woman constables in trains.
“With the help of the groups, passengers can now share information on any criminal activity on the train or at a railway station. After receiving the information, RPF officers will act immediately. Details of the persons passing on the information will be kept confidential so that they don’t face any trouble,” said T S Gopakumar, Assistant Security Commissioner, RPF, Ernakulam.
The two groups cater to the northern and the southern areas of the Thiruvananthapuram railway division. The groups are directly monitored by Gopakumar and RPF Divisional Security Commissioner S Ramakrishnan. “In the groups, members can share their suggestions on improving security at a railway station. However, messages and comments on any other issue will not be entertained,” said Gopakumar.
“We had spread awareness in the women’s compartments in trains so that more women can use these group effectively for their safety. In Thiruvananthapuram, we have almost 200 women commuters who use the group. It has only been a week but the response has been overwhelming,” said RPF woman constable V Dhanya.
To other districts
According to Gopakumar, more groups based on railway circles will be created once the group reaches the maximum number of 250 members. This will help ensure security of women in other districts.
The RPF is also planning to make SoW a part of the RPF Mitra Yojana, through which members will be given identity cards and declared RPF mitras.