Wednesday, July 1, 2015
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Maximum women are employed in Group A and B and least with Group D.
From safety to employment, Indian Railways has a lot to work on for women
 
TRAIN TRACKS connect India like nothing else. Meandering through valleys, counting fields, jumping over rivers and bringing to halt road traffic, Indian Railways carried over more than 23 million passengers a day last year on its 65,436 km network. For many, train turns into a home for few days. However, it’s not easy for women to commute on this convenient and many a times the only mode of transport. 
 
In 2013, 693 cases of crime against women were reported from railways of which 54 were rape cases. Such incidents grew by 327 per cent from 160 cases in 2005. 

Women are increasingly becoming more vulnerable in trains while the railway premises like platforms are becoming safer. From the year 2000 to 2013, the share of incidents on train more than doubled while dropped by almost 37 per cent

Installation of CCTV cameras and enhances security might be the reasons for drop in such cases on the premises. At present, about 311 stations are under CCTV surveillance. All A1, A and C category stations of Indian Railways and zonal railways will be covered soon. CCTV will also be provided in the ladies compartments of 50 EMU rail cars and on 50 main line trains. 
 
 
 
 
 
Women security force
 
Around four units of Mahila Vahinis (women protection force) have become operational while eight more will be recruited to strengthen women security in metropolitan cities, especially in suburban sections
 
Around 10 per cent of all posts advertised in the rank of constable and sub-inspector in the Railway Protection Force (RPF), are earmarked for women. At present 1,400 women personnel are functioning in RPF and about 1,000 women personnel are undergoing initial training and will be available with field units shortly. 
 
A biased employer
 
Railways is the largest public sector employer in the country with a task force of 13,33,966 people in March 2014. Though women are deployed in all spheres, including loco pilots and trackmen, they represent only 6.7 per cent of the total workers. The poor representation extends from arduous operational activities to higher rungs of administration.Officers Group 'A' & 'B' has maximum proportion of women employees at 8.81 per cent while Group C has minimum share of 6.64 per cent.  
 

In reply to a query of the Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women, the Ministry of Railways claimed that women appear much less in number and all of them do not want a blue collar job after studies. “Since in the Railways all recruitments are done on a competitive basis from open market through a computerized process, there is no discrimination so far as recruitment is concerned,” it said.

 
Between 2012 and 2014, 170 complaints of sexual harassment were received on the Railways of which 138 were disposed off while 32 complaints were pending out of which only 12 complaints were pending for more than 6 months. 
 
A Parliamentary Committee report Working Conditions of Women in Railways and Amenities for Women Passengers says that even after the lapse of about one year of the enactment of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, the Railways is yet to move beyond Visakha Guidelines and implement the provisions of the new Act in letter and spirit. 
 
Railways has done well to establish 46 creches at Zonal/Divisional Head Quarters, major Passenger Reservation System centres and its big hospitals as was mandated in Railway Budget 2014-15.

 

 

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