Operation Meri Saheli by Indian Railway
Indian Railways has launched “Operation Meri Saheli” initiative for focused action on the security of women across all zones with an objective to provide safety and security to lady passengers travelling by trains for their entire journey from starting station to destination station. The “Meri Saheli” initiative was started as a pilot project in South Eastern Railway in September 2020. This is an exclusive operation/programme launched by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to provide safety to women passengers during the course of their journey. This programme has been launched under the guidelines of the Railway Board.
Advantages of Operation Meri Saheli
Main advantages of Operation Meri Saheli are here.
- As seen from the pilot run of the aforesaid trains, it gives security in a real sense to lady passengers from originating point to destination and prevents theft of their belongings, eve-teasing etc.
- Further, these lady passengers also see if any other lady co-passengers are facing any problem, so in a sense, they act like Police Observer, as such we find them as Force Multipliers.
- Threat mapping and vulnerability analysis of the lady passengers are done and Lady passengers travelling alone, with children, aged lady passengers with or without a caregiver are given special attention and the mobile number of the train escort party if present are shared for immediate assistance and they are made aware of the Modus Operandi of criminals, importance of being alert and to call RPF on All India RPF Security Helpline 182 for any assistance at any time.
- In case of any unseen event like dacoity, accident, agitations, holding of trains etc., these passengers can be contacted quickly and we can get a real picture of the situation and can help all passengers immediately for relief.
- This is done under the framework of ‘Nirbhaya Fund’, so it does not involve any additional expenditure under the head of Railways.
- This has resulted in better and efficient utilization of manpower.
- This is improving the image of railways in the eyes of the public in a big way.
- Despite COVID, RPF staff working day and night by securing and interacting with railway passengers, thereby setting a good example, it is a moral boost to RPF as well as railway and passengers in general.
Objective of Operation Meri Saheli
Main objective of Operation Meri Saheli
The objective of the “Meri Saheli” initiative is to provide safety and security of lady passengers travelling by trains in their entire journey from originating station till destination station. Under the initiative, a team of lady officer and staff have been formed. The team will visit all of the passenger coaches including ladies coaches to identify women passengers. RPF personnel team collects details of their journey like coach number and seat number will be noted down by the team, especially if a lady is travelling alone in the train. The passengers will be briefed about RPF Security Helpline No. 182, GRP Security Helpline No. 1512 and other precautions, for example, not to take food with strangers, buying food from IRCTC authorized stalls only, taking care of luggage. The team will also advise them to feel free to contact the train escort party and dial 182 in case of any emergency. The details of the passengers will be conveyed to Enroute Divisions and Zones to meet the passengers at their convenience till they reach their final destination. RPF/RPSF (Railway Protection Special Force) escort onboard also covers all the coaches/identified berths during its duty period. At the end of the journey, feedback will be collected from the passenger regarding their journey experience and safety measures taken.
- A team of young woman Railway Protection Force (RPF) Sub-Inspectors or staff will interact with women passengers at the originating station.
- Passengers are told about the precautions to be taken during the journey and are advised to dial RPF Security Helpline number 182, GRP Helpline number 1512 in case of any emergency. The team during interaction with women passengers will counsel and update them about other precautions to be taken for safety and security like not to accept eatables from strangers, purchasing food only from authorized IRCTC stalls etc.
- The RPF team collects the passenger details like Name, PNR / Ticket number, Coach and Berth number etc of the women passengers and converts to them about the stoppages en route. These details will be shared to en-route Divisions / Zones from originating station to destination station.
- The Divisional Control Room will convey the coach/berth number of the lady passengers travelling alone to the next Divisional Control Room.
- The platform duty RPF personnel at the stations en-route will keep an unobtrusive watch over the coaches and berths concerned and if the need arises, interact with the passengers.
- Onboard RPF/RPSF escort will also cover the coaches/identified berths during their duty period.
- RPF teams will also collect feedback from identified women passengers at the destination stations.
- If some distress call comes from any woman passengers, the disposal of the call is monitored at the level of senior officers.
Zone wise Details
Zone wise details of operation of Meri Saheli initiative are here.
Central Railway announced on 28.10.2020 that in its constant efforts to provide a safe and comfortable journey to Women has launched “Meri Saheli”.
The Central Railway RPF has started “Meri Saheli” programme in 24 special trains which have got a huge and positive response. This includes trains like Mumbai-Nagpur-Mumbai Duranto Express, Godan Express, Gondia-Mumbai Special, Mumbai-Howrah Express, Pune-Patna Special and other trains.
Eastern Railway announced that MERI SAHELI, an initiative for focused action on security of lady passengers has been implemented in Sealdah Division w.e.f. 20.10.2020. RPF team consisting of two lady Sub-Inspectors and two lady Constables has been formed at Sealdah Railway station w.e.f. 20.10.2020 to assist the lady passengers travelling alone.
Southern Railway announced on 31.10.2020 that ‘Meri Saheli’ Abhiyan has been initiated over Southern Railway. To start with, 17 teams comprising RPF women officers and staff have been formed at the following originating stations over Southern Railway.
- Chennai Division : Dr MGR Chennai Central & Chennai Egmore
- Tiruchchirappalli Division: Trichy, Thanjavur, Pondichery & Naga-pattinam
- Salem Division : Coimbatore Erode & Salem
- Madurai Division: Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin & Sengottai station
- Palakkad Division : Mangalore Central
- Trivandrum Division : Nagercoil, Trivandrum and Ernakulam South
SOUTH CENTRAL RAILWAY
South Central Railway on 06.11.2020 announced that SCR identified 08 important trains plying over the jurisdiction and organized Meri Saheli Campaign to increase awareness amongst women passengers.
The details of the Trains on which “Meri Saheli” initiative is being implemented is given below:
|Sl. No.||Sl. No.||Name||From||To|
|4||02715||Sachkand Express||H.S. Nanded||Amritsar|
|5||01142||Nandigram Express||Kinwat||C S M T|
In addition to the above-nominated trains, nominated Trains of other zones under “Meri Saheli” program and passing through SCR are also being attended by RPF personnel of the zone.
SOUTH EASTERN RAILWAY
This has been introduced as Pilot Project to achieve the aforesaid objective. The “Meri Saheli” initiative was started as a pilot project in South Eastern Railway in September 2020.
Initially, 03 trains starting from Howrah of SER have been taken under this Pilot Project. Howrah-Yesvantpur Duronto Special train has been taken as the first pilot train from 18.09.2020 followed by Howrah-Ahmedabad Special on 20.09.2020 and Howrah-Mumbai Special on 21.09.2020.
SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
South Western Railway announced that (31.10.2020) RPF of Bengaluru Division launched Meri Saheli’ or NannaSakhi initiative for the security of women passengers in trains originating in Bengaluru Division. As the passenger-carrying train services are being introduced in a phased manner and special train services are being run in view of festival season, this initiative has been launched. Two all-women RPF Shakti teams called the “Chenamma” team, and “Abakka” team, named on the brave warrior queens of Karnataka and Southern India consisting of 20 lady RPF personnel led by a Lady Sub Inspector are deployed at key stations of Bengaluru and Yesvantpur.
Bengaluru Division RPF has rolled out the same Operation in view of enhanced women security to 10 trains moving all across India from Bengaluru and has since served and interacted with, provided security and taken written feedback from 5025 lady passengers and is continuing the same.
During the said initiative many cases of immediate responses from lady RPF personnel have helped lady passengers immensely and RPF has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from women of Karnataka who hail this initiative as a game-changer in women security over Railways. RPF Bengaluru has also launched an extensive social media campaign to popularize the initiative among all lady passengers and make them aware of the immediate assistance being provided while they travel over Southwestern Railways to make their journey happy and memorable.
Western Railway announced on 25.10.2020 that Western Railway has started another great initiative named “Meri Saheli” to provide safety and security of women passengers during their entire journey.
WR introduced Meri Saheli in two trains,
- Train No. 12955 Mumbai Central – Jaipur Superfast Express
- Train No. 02925 Bandra Terminus – Amritsar Special train.
WR has always come up with a great initiative to support the “Nari Shakti”. Right from introducing the dedicated ‘Ladies’ Special’ train in the world or setting up Baby Feeding Centers at stations to providing CCTV cameras and talk-back system inside ladies’ coaches, women passengers have always been a priority for the Railways.
The “Meri Saheli” initiative will not only provide safety and security to women passengers but will also provide mental peace and a comfortable travelling experience.