As the Pakistan Prime Minister announced measures to ensure safety of women passengers on trains, the coincidences with the women safety intents of the Indian railway police force are too obvious to be missed.
On the very day a press release by India’s Press Information Bureau spoke of how the railway police force (RPF) had rescued 150 women and girls, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif too proposed a slew of measures for making the country’s railways safe for women travellers.
The coincidence was prompted by a sad turn of events when a woman passenger was gang-raped by three railway employees on the Bahauddin Zakariya Express that plies between Multan and Karachi.
Prime Minister Sharif’s strategic reforms unit proposed that Lady Railway Police Force (LRPF) be deployed at railway stations to give women passengers a sense of safety on the trains. LRPF teams comprising a lady sub-inspector and two lady constables will be deployed on long-distance trains in Pakistan.
Besides, Pakistan’s trains will also be fitted with an emergency SOS button and a mobile app to be called ‘Safar Saheli’ will also be developed. CCTV cameras too will be as part of a video surveillance system and will be complemented by facial recognition technologies.
In India, the PIB press release had said, the RPF rescued the women and girls and also undertook an awareness campaign to educate rail users regarding safety of women and essential travel-related behaviour and practices.
On similar lines, Pakistan Railways will launch an awareness campaign through IEC material and also radio and television broadcasts.