The railways say they are serious about ensuring women commuters are not targeted, but the latter rue that not enough is being done.
Anil Sharma, inspector general (Central Railway), said, “We were looking into the initiative of taking suggestions from women commuters started by the Western Railway. We are waiting to see how it fares before taking it up.”
Woman commuters who use the Central Railway say there is big room for improvement. Parul Khanvilkar, 29, who travels from Dombivli to Kurla, said, “The response to the railway help line meant for women is not good. A few months ago, when I was travelling in the afternoon, a few men entered the compartment. I did not want to confront them, and called up the helpline. But no one responded, and eventually the men got off at Ghatkopar on their own.”
Akshara Deshmukh, 28, employed with a media outlet in South Mumbai was commuting to her Dombivli residence a few months ago. “It was around 10.30pm and I was the only person in the first class women’s compartment. The train halted between two stations and two policemen got in with the body of a person who had come under the tracks.”
“It was a horrific incident and I went to the general compartment at the next station. Since then, I have been uncomfortable travelling in the women’s first class compartment as it is so empty.”