Uncle,please do not cross the tracks. This small mistake may claim your life, said a child while passing on a rose bud to a man who crossed the tracks at Byculla station. Eleven special children with bunch of roses in their hands counselled people caught crossing the line at the station on Thursday morning.
The programme is part of a Gandhigiri drive run by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Central Railway (CR) against line crossing. Students of City Academy for Special Education,Hazi Ali participated in it.
On Thursday morning,55 commuters including five ladies and four children were caught crossing the line,RPF sources said. While offenders have beenawarded inprisonment in the recent past,railway wants to tackle the problem humanely. We conducted the programme between 11.30 am and12.30 pm on Thursday. We have also put a lot of banners at the station to make commuters aware. Special children gave a rose stick to each offender and counselled. These commuters thanked children and RPF for the efforts, said A N Sansare,Senior Police Inspector,RPF,Byculla station.
The offenders caught on Thursday include a driver of a High Court judge,two policemen and a retired sub-inspector of the GRP.
All these offenders were allowed to go after they were counselled against crossing the lines. They were told that the Railway is serious on the issue,and if they do not mend their ways,they may land behind bars.
Eight-year-old Aazmeen Ambrolia,who participated in the event,said,We know what we are doing. We are here to stop commuters from crossing the line. I gave roses to them and reminded them that their near-and-dear ones are waiting for their safe return.
Adeeba Patel (12),another participant,added,Commuters promised us that they will not repeat the mistake. I think that they will keep their promises.
SC Parhi,Senior Divisional Security Commissioner,RPF,CR said,This is our way of convincing them with love but if it is continued,we will have to take strict action against them.
At Byculla station,29 commuters have died while crossing the lines this year between January and June. In 2008,190 people died and 181 were injured while crossing the tracks at the station.
In 2008,CR registered 1,976 cases of line crossing -1,381 deaths and 595 injuries. Similarly,1,915 cases (1,411 deaths,504 injuries) were registered in 2007.
The RPF conducted a similar Gandhigiri programme in February at stations like Matunga,CST,Dadar,Byculla,kalian,Thane among others.