Master blaster and former captain of the Indian cricket team Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday launched two safety and awareness initiatives by the Mumbai Railway Police.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Tendulkar expressed concern over the number of fatalities on railway tracks each year and recalled an incident in his teenage years after which he had resolved never to cross railway tracks again.
The two initiatives, SAMEEP (Safety Alert Messages Exclusively For Passengers) and B-SAFE, were launched at the Railway Police headquarters in Wadi Bunder by Mr Tendulkar and Railway Police Commissioner Madhukar Pandey.
“SAMEEP is an effort towards instant communication with railway passengers in case of any eventualities. As part of this initiative, we aim to send out text messages to passengers about important developments or disruptions, safety advisories, updates about women’s security and accurate information about developments to dispel any rumours. B-SAFE is a prolonged multimedia awareness campaign to educate the public about various precautions they should take for safe commuting. The campaign will consist of putting up theme based posters across railway station platforms, distribution of pamphlets and awareness meetings of commuter associations, educational institutions, etc,” Mr Pandey said.
Mr Tendulkar said the number of deaths on the tracks was worrying. “The general feeling is that crossing railway tracks will save us five minutes. But this also means that we are breaking the law and risking our lives for the sake of five minutes,” he said.
Down memory lane
He recalled that in his teenage years, he would often travel by train. Recalling an incident as a schoolboy, Mr Tendulkar said, “Once, when we were late for practice and tried crossing the tracks at Dadar, but realised that the trains were coming from both directions on two adjacent tracks. We ended up kneeling on the ground while the two trains went by. The experience was so scary that we never crossed the tracks again.”
Railway officials said those wishing to get SMS alerts as part of the SAMEEP initiative can give a missed call to 7208015207 or send a text message saying ‘MH RLYCOP’ to 166, after which they would start getting alerts, said officials. “The aim of the B-SAFE initiative is not really new. Everyone knows the hazards of practices like track crossing. We are just trying to further spread awareness ,” Mr Pandey said.