According to a survey of a digital marketing company of 12,854 respondents in 26 railway stations in India, Mumbai comes out to be at the top with the highest number of women commuters in the suburban railways as compared to other metros. Mumbai has 41% of women travellers traveling by train per day, and this is higher than the national average of 35% and that of the cities like Bengaluru with 39 percent and Delhi with 37 percent.
Mumbai beats other cities in following domains too:
- More than 69 percent of the daily train travellers own smart phones. Here, Mumbai beats other cities, as well as the national average, since the number of commuters owing smart phones in Mumbai trains is as high as 91percent.
- 82 percent of working population of Mumbai uses suburban trains, highest in the country.
Mumbai has 41 percent of women travellers traveling by train per day, and this is higher than the national average of 35 percent and that of the cities like Bengaluru with 39 percent and Delhi with 37 percent.
- Moreover, the city also has the highest number of youngsters travelling by suburban train, with 65 percent in the age bracket of 20-35, another 15 percent in the age group 35-50 and 11 percent above the age of 50. In other cities like Delhi and Bengaluru and New Delhi, only 35 percent of millennials and Gen X travel by trains (all trains and not just metros).
Attempts to ensure women’s safety
Talk Back facility
In an attempt to increase women’s safety in trains, Western Railway has installed and is installing ‘Talk Back’ facility in first class and women’s compartment in 72 trains, which is about 70 percent of its total fleet. This will allow women travellers to speak to the guard and motorman in case any emergency takes place. In order that no misuse of the facility takes place, the facility also has a feature that records the conversation. This will also help them to use the conversation as evidence in serious offences. “The new system will not just relay the message to motorman/guard but also record the conversation. This will help us as evidence in serious offences.” said a senior Western Railway officer, DNA India reported.
Safety App launched in 2017 for women commuters
The “Eyewatch SOS for women” app is a joint development of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and a private company work to develop the app started in March in 2017. Women commuters travelling between Churchgate and Virar could call for help anytime by using the app. If a woman finds herself in distress, all she has to do is press the button on the app. Then an 80-second long video will be sent to the RPF control room. Once the control room gets an idea about the kind of trouble the woman is in, cops would be sent to deal with the situation from the nearest railway station.
Also introduced a new logo to represent the modern woman
In an attempt to depict a society that is fast changing, Western Railways has changed the logo that was used to represent women coaches. The current logo which has a woman with a ghoonghat over her head is to be replaced with a woman in a formal suit. The ‘woman with ghoonghat’ logo marks all the female compartments currently. Not only will there be a change in the logo but the coaches will also have posters of inspirational women, like the badminton star Saina Nehwal, cricketer Mithali Raj, and astronaut Kalpana Chawla, along with their achievements. As of now, 12 coach rakes have been installed with the new logo while the rest will be remodelled in a few weeks.