It has been over two months since the Government Railway Police (GRP) inaugurated a few exclusive complaint booths at Mumbai Central and CST railway station for women and children, but not a single case has been registered at these booths. These booths also lack the specialised (female) staff to handle cases, as promised by the GRP before their inception.
A senior GRP official said, “I have enquired at the booth and not a single complaint has been registered till date. Though we initiated the project hoping to get a positive feedback from the commuters, things didn’t work out as per our expectations. Somehow, the complainants seem to be comfortable registering their case at a regular police station.”
The project was initiated considering the rising number of complaints from women commuters and their reluctance to talk to male officers. The project was supposed to be extended to 17 GRP police stations, 130 railway stations and 356 railway platforms on the Central, Western and Harbour line. “We requested the authorities, asking them to deploy female staff at these booths so that complainants are at ease while registering their cases. But it appears that due to manpower shortage, all the women officers are busy patrolling railway stations,” the official said.
“It is sad that female passengers aren’t registering complaints at the booths. We cannot help them unless they don’t approach us. Irrespective of the response we’ve received so far, we do plan to extend the project to all railway stations so that we can help more women commuters,” G S Bhandare, DCP (GRP) of Central Railway, said.
Did you know?
The booths were opened to help locate missing children, who at times are forced to beg at railway stations, and to help women who run away from their homes and come to the city to make it big. Additional responsibility of the officials at the booths includes counselling such women and sending them back home safely.
>> Of the 70 lakh passengers who commute by train daily, approx 20 lakh are women
>> On an average, women commuters register 8 to 10 complaints daily