‘Smart Sahelees’ to protect women commuters on Mumbai locals

Mumbai: In a bid to achieve zero crime against women commuters, the Central Railway and RPF have launched a new initiative called ‘Smart Sahelee’ for regular women passengers travelling in suburban sections. Railway officials said they are trying to create a holistic security network for women passengers covering all 1,774 suburbs sections. The ‘Smart Sahelee’ is divided into three groups and each group will create a WhatsApp group which will be active 24/7.

Shalabh Goel, Division Railway Manager, CR said that the main aim of launching this programme is to provide a holistic security net to build confidence among women commuters.

“This programme also aims to have a robust and faster redressal mechanism to the complaints/grievances of women commuters. It also establishes two-way communication with women commuters and develops confidence among them concerning their safety and security,” he said.

KK Ashraf, senior divisional security commissioner, Central Railways Mumbai Division, said they want to create two-way communications with the women commuters for which they will be selecting four passengers from each local service as volunteers. Moreover, they have created 87 WhatsApp groups which will be active 24/7 and will provide all details. “We will be selecting regular commuters who are travelling end-to-end. Moreover, there will be three groups which include service, sector and station Sahale,” he said.

“All these groups regularly interact with lady passengers and Service Sahelees. Keep observing activities/matters affecting women security, suggest ways and means to improve security, propagate the facility of 182 RPF helpline amongst the commuters. The R&M team will ensure timely and prompt response to the complaints/grievances of women passengers,” Ashraf added.

HOW IT WORKS

Service Sahelee WhatsApp: Four regular women commuters from each local service register as volunteers, to form Service Sahelee.

Sector Sahelee WhatsApp Group: There will be 59 Sector Sahelee Groups to cover all 1,774 local services. Each Sector Sahelee group will be comprised of 31 Service Sahelee, one lady SIPF / ASIPF/HC as Force Mentor, one lady constable as Assistant Force Mentor and one Passenger Mentor (preferably a representative from NGO/ Railway Users committee). Total members will be 127.

Station Sahelee WhatsApp Group: 21 major stations identified on the suburban section. These stations are taken care of round the clock security. Each station will have a Station Sahelee group of 15 regular women commuters of that station and 2 RPF station staff.

Train Sahelee WhatsApp Group: Train Sahelee groups to be formed on all ladies special local trains. At present 4 such Train Sahelee groups are formed. Each group comprises of 25 regular commuters on these ladies special local trains and 3 RPF staff. All these trains to be escorted by 3 RPF Lady staff.

Response and Monitoring Team WhatsApp group at Divisional Level: This team consists of all force mentors, Passenger Mentors, Station Saheli in-charge, Service Sahelee in-charge, RPF inspectors of the division. They shall form a WhatsApp group called Smart-Sahelee-R&M Team.

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