These statistics are likely to send a chill down your spine. Every day, on an average, nine local train commuters don’t end up reaching their destination. What’s more, in the last 10 years, over 25, 700 people have fallen off moving trains. In order to stop these numbers from being insignificantly tossed as just another statistic, Culture Machine’s digital channel Being Indian has released a documentary tilted, Kripya Dhyaan Dein, which depicts the fatal side-effects of exploiting the city’s lifeline.
“Our idea is to raise awareness about issues that affect lives of people on a daily basis. So when Imran Shamsi, who has been a regular collaborator on Being Indian, approached us last year with an idea to do a film on how thousands of people get killed every year on the tracks due to lack of awareness and negligence, we felt this was an issue that definitely needed addressal,” says Ruchir Joshi, content head, Culture Machine. The film features stories of victims like Samir Zaveri, who became a railway activist after losing both his legs in a fall from a Mumbai train two decades ago.
Joshi feels the research behind the project was the toughest part. “Finding families of those who had lost lives and to get them to speak on camera for the sake of raising awareness was not easy,” he says. While weaving in the views of commuters, entrepreneurs, social workers, lawyers, and doctors, the documentary explores the steps that need to taken to reduce the accidents including increased frequency of trains, better platforms, securing unmanned crossings, more foot-over bridges, better medical aid at stations and alternate modes of transport using the sea. “It is a big problem and cannot be solved in a day, but with consistent hard work and the right solutions, it is possible to bring an end to it,” he says.