Indian Railways launches “Meri Saheli” Initiative
The Railway Protection Force recently launched “Meri Saheli” initiative. The initiative will focus on the safety of women passengers. It was launched as a pilot project in South Eastern Railway in September 2020. It was then extended to all zones.
The initiative will provide safety and security to the women passengers travelling by train. Under the initiative, a team of young RPF women personnel will converse with women passengers at the originating station. They will mainly focus on those women who are travelling alone. During the interaction, the women passengers will be informed about the precautions they have to following during the journey. Also, they will be informed about the number 182. They can call the number in case of problems.
Key Features of the initiative
The RPF team at the boarding stations will collect the seat numbers of the ladies travelling. The team will then convey these ladies about the stoppages en route. Their seat details will be conveyed to the RPF personnel deployed on platform duty at stopping stations en route. They will keep watch over respective coaches in which the ladies are travelling.
During duty period, the RPF escort onboard will cover the identified coaches and berths. Also, the RPF team deployed at the destination will receive feedback from the lady passengers. According to the Ministry of Railways, the distress calls from the lady passengers under the initiative are to be managed by senior officers.
Railway Protection Force
The Railway Protection Force is tasked with protecting the passenger properties of Indian Railways. It is the only Central Armed Police Force that has powers similar to that of regular state police forces. It has powers to investigate, arrest persons violating Railways Act, 1890. It has powers to remove obstructions such as encroachments and illegal constructions.