‘Rail wardens’ on duty to make station safer

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Chandigarh The interface that the Government Railway Police (GRP) sought to create between them and the general public through the ‘Rail Warden’ scheme, launched a month ago, has started reaping dividends. These rail wardens
were appointed on the basis of their experience and alertness from a diverse group comprising porters, commuters, autorickshaw drivers and station employees such as the cleaning staff.

The team recently assisted in the recovery of a stolen autorickshaw. “In one of the weekly meetings we were alerted about the increasing autorickshaw thefts from the railway station. I made a list of the vehicle numbers that were stolen.
On January 15, I spotted one such autorickshaw parked in Banur and immediately informed the GRP,” says Rajnish Kumar, an autorickshaw operator appointed as a rail warden.

There are two women among the 25-odd rail wardens appointed by the GRP. In the weekly meetings, the team’s primary job is to report any suspicious object,person, theft or case of eve teasing in the trains or at the platforms.

GRP Station House Officer (SHO) Inspector Teerath Ram addresses the rail warden’s weekly meeting at the railway station.

Apart from encouraging them, we want to channelise their experience and abilities in the right direction. We also train them in checking vehicles in the parking areas, passengers and luggage at the platforms,says the SHO.

On the inclusion of women in the team, he adds: Female participation is
needed as several issues like eve teasing and harassment in trains need to be addressed.

GRP Inspector General K K Mishra adds: The objective is to identify a section of people from the community which can be an assisting intelligence force for us. We have inducted people from various professions that cover a large area of the railway station, including the parking, platforms and the trains.

The enthusiasm of the team is commendable considering they are not offered any salary or incentives for the work. For 60-year-old Kehar Singh, who has worked as a porter at the railway station for nearly four decades, the work gives him a sense of satisfaction.

After serving the passengers for the last four decades, I feel honoured to be part of this community, says Kehar.