An outstation student like me is a regular traveler and thus knows how important security is, especially in mass based means of transport like the railways and the aviation.
Though airports and flights are a relatively safe and secure means of travel, there’s this huge flaw in the railways – there are no security measures whatsoever.
NO SECURITY CHECK OF THE LUGGAGE
As most of us have witnessed, in the railway stations, the luggage isn’t thoroughly scrutinized in a security system as it is in the airport. Thus, it is practically quite simple to slip in a knife, a gun, a sword, or even a bomb for that matter. That’s the reason why murders and bombings in the railways aren’t quite unheard of.
Moreover, in most railway stations, there aren’t even security systems and checking points for inspecting the people who are boarding the train.
The security personnel who is allotted the duty to check the people or see if they are passing through the checking points are mostly absent and/or busy among themselves. When asked for some guidance regarding the way to the platforms or the exit, most of them seem as disinterested as they can be.
On one hand is railway accidents, which is understandably out of the control of the government, but when life and property are getting tremendously impacted due to a fault that is completely within the control of the government, then it is frustrating.
WHY IS THE CONDITION LIKE THIS?
The most logical answer to this is the restricted budget of the railway minister. What’s worse, the Indian Government has eliminated the 92-year old custom of a separate presentation of the rail budget, which might imply less consideration given to a sector which is important for the public. A combined Union Budget was first presented in 2017 by Arun Jaitley.
However, this year, there is 31% more allocation of funds for the Central Railways and the Western Railways. Here’s hoping that these funds will now be adequately utilized for genuinely imperative issues.
In a populous country like India, implementing security checks in the most used means of travel, the railways, isn’t really cost-friendly and requires a lot of both, money and patience. In India, both seem to be fairly restricted.
ROBBERY, SEXUAL HARASSMENT, MURDER, AND OTHER RAILWAY CRIMES
By Government data, on-train robbery has increased from 382 in 2003 to 1,096 in 2013, and murders have gone from 246 to 270.
Sexual harassment on trains (especially of women) is something most women have either heard about, gone through, or witnessed. The government fails to provide appropriate security so that women can at least relish an untroubled sleep at night.
Often we hear of sexual harassment that go unreported and what’s more, they even go unnoticed sometimes. Children, the youth and the old, no one is out of the purview of this.
In June 2017, a 32-year old woman was raped by a man in the train’s pantry car. Once again, a 14-year old girl was gang-raped by minors and then flung from a train. There are innumerable instances that could be mentioned, but that’s not important. What’s important is what is being done about it.
Many a times, even if the woman reports the crime against her, not all the criminals get their share of justice.
Sexual Harassment cannot go to zero overnight. However, if the government enforces measures that do justice to the victims, the cases will obviously, reduce in the future. This is applicable not only in the railways but everywhere.
Image Sources: Google Images, News laundry