THE security system launched recently for the Railways by a mobile application service provider has generated considerable interest among women commuters, with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) data revealing that 27,321 SMSes were received in a week. To create awareness, RPF women staff members are providing training to women commuters.
Amid concerns of a rise in crime against women commuters, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had launched the mobile app at the Western Railway general manager building, near Churchgate station, on January 9. The app, which is especially for women commuters, is meant to assist passengers avail of immediate help from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) while travelling by local trains.
This is the first time that such a safety measure was launched in the Railways in collaboration with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and developers of ‘M-Indicator’. Mobile app ‘m-indicator’ is commonly used by commuters to check the railway timetable.
According to data given by RPF control room, between January 9 and 16, as many as 27,321 messages were received on the security helpline 1322 through ‘M-Indicator’. After sorting out the messages on the basis of urgency and gravity, the RPF control room called back on 300 numbers to check and provide assistance. Of these, however, only 33 women commuters asked for RPF assistance, which was immediately provided to them.
Anand Vijay Jha, security divisional commissioner, Western Railway (Mumbai division), said, “Most commuters were interested to know how it worked. A few others sent messages just to check if it worked. In danger, this safety measure may be a boon for them. So, I deputed RPF women staff members to provide awareness about this and give training on ways to use it.’’
Rima Shah, a daily commuter on Western Railway, has also started teaching other lady commuters after learning it from RPF staff.
To develop this technology, RPF worked with the developers of ‘M-indicator’, so that no detail related to security of women was left out. To avail of this service, passengers need to open the M-Indicator homescreen and click on the ‘safety’ icon. In the settings menu, one will need to register numbers of two people who will provide them help in case of an emergency. Once the contacts are registered, the ‘safety’ icon will appear on the homescreen. In case of an emergency, when a passenger clicks on the ‘safety’ icon on the homescreen, an emergency SMS will be sent to the contacts and the relatives will receive the approximate location of the person.