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.
‘Talk Back’ will allow women travellers to speak to the guard and motorman in case any emergency takes place.
Western Railway had introduced the concept of first time in 2016 and was installed in only one train then. Later, in September 2018, the facility was proposed to be installed in other trains too. The system has been properly tested in one train and since no issues were encountered, the administration has decided to extend the concept to other trains as well. The facility will be installed at an approximate cost of Rs 8 crore. This system is similar to the ones available in the metro trains.
In case of misuse
Since there’s no record as to who is travelling in the train, there are chances that the facility might be misused. Unfortunately, this is very common in India when it comes to public utilities. The installation of ‘Talk Back’ will be followed by installation of CCTV cameras. CCTV will also help identify the culprit. It is hoped that this combination will provide safety to women travelling in trains.
As a way to make sure safety of women, ‘Talk Back’ facility was introduced by Western Railways on International Women’s Day.
As a way to make sure safety of women, ‘Talk Back’ facility was introduced by Western Railways on International Women’s Day. Like the emergency button to stop the train, there will be a button available for the ‘Talk Back’ facility. It will set up a two-way communication between the guard and the person. All we hope is that it is used properly. The authorities had previously stated that if anyone misuses the facility, there will be heavy penalty to discourage the action. The system will be present next to every doorway.
Earlier, the Central Railways had a panic button, which when pressed alerted the guard about a threat in the compartment. Unfortunately, there have been instances where people played prank and affected train’s punctuality as the crew had to rush to the compartment to find out what’s wrong. And hence there was a second thought on whether to install ‘Talk Back’ back or not, since they didn’t get positive responses from the crew. However, since ‘Talk Back’ enables a person to directly speak to the guard, there are less chances of its misuse.