Women are the pillars of the society and South Central Railway is in forefront in providing various facilities to women passengers for their comfortable and convenient rail travel. Women employees constitute around 1 lakh out of 14 lakh railway employees working on Indian Railways and the number of women employees is steadily increasing. The women employees working in Railways are performing their duties with utmost dedication and devotion.
With a view to empower the women work force in Railways and to develop their morale and self confidence, South Central Railway initiated the concept of ‘All Women Stations’. It has deployed women staff to handle all the day to day activities including train operations, ticketing, security and other relevant duties. The “All Women Stations” are Begumpet (Secunderabad Division), Vidyanagar (Hyderabad Division), Chandragiri (Guntakal Division), New Guntur (Guntur Division) and Ramavarappadu (Vijayawada Division).
In addition, the Bogie shop in Routine Overhauling Depot (ROH) at Vijayawada has also been deployed with all women staff comprising of 35 women. This initiative by SCR has improved the self confidence in the women employees working in Railways. It is noteworthy that the overall performance of these units also significantly improved.
Facilities and Amenities provided to Women passengers by Railways:
·Reservation quota of 6 berths in sleeper class in long distance Mail/Express trains.
·Combined quota of 7 lower berths per coach in Sleeper class and 4 lower berths per coach in Air Conditioned 3 tier (3AC) and 3 lower berths per coach in Air Conditioned 2 tier (2AC) classes for Senior citizens, Female passengers 45 years of age and above and pregnant women.
·50% concession on tickets purchased in favour of women senior citizens with completed age of 58 years.
·Unreserved accommodation adjacent to Luggage-cum Guard’s Coach (SLR) is exclusively earmarked for lady passengers in most of the long distance trains.
·Separate counters for ladies are provided at important PRS centres (Reservation Offices) and Booking offices at major stations.
·As part of the new initiative towards providing much needed emergency amenity to lady passengers, “Sanitary Napkin Dispenser and Incinerator” facility is installed in Ladies Waiting Hall at all major railway stations.
·Women passengers are to be provided comfortable space for mothers to feed their babies. Baby feeding centres are provided by SCR at all ‘A1’ category railway stations and at all the important ‘A’ category stations.
·Availability of baby food like hot milk and water at major stations and in pantry cars of almost all trains by name “Janani Seva”. In addition food items for children between 5 to 12 years are also added in the menu.
·Unreserved coaches/compartments for female passengers in MMTS trains & local passenger trains depending upon demand pattern as well as availability of accommodation.
·Running of ladies special MMTS services on the suburban sections. In twin cities of Hyderabad, ‘Matrubhumi’ special MMTS service is run exclusively for women passengers.
·Separate ladies waiting Halls, separate toilets etc in major railway stations.
·Formation of special squad including lady RPF Sub-inspectors and Constables for providing assistance to women passengers.
·Security of Women passengers is heightened by deployment of Nirbhaya Squads comprising of lady ticket checking and Railway Protection Force personnel in suburban trains in the city for escorting of ladies compartments.
·Public awareness programme with regard to security of women passengers.
·Girl students up to Under Graduate level can avail monthly concessional Season tickets for free travel in Second Ordinary class between stations serving place of residence and school/college under certain conditions of eligibility.
Various facilities and Amenities provided for betterment of Women Workforce-
·To facilitate the working mothers with regard to child care, Crèche facility is provided at Zonal/Divisional Headquarters, major PRS centers, hospitals etc.
·Baby feeding centers are set up at major work places to facilitate feeding mothers.
·Separate toilets, Separate sitting arrangements in canteen etc are provided for the working women.
·Sanitary Napkin Dispensers and Incinerators are provided at Ladies Wash rooms at all major work places for the convenience of Women.
·Separate Rest houses are provided for women employees such as TTEs, Loco pilots, Guards etc while at outstation as part of the duty.
·Women Welfare Organizations in the Railways are proactive in empowerment of Women Employees and Women Folks of the Employees’ families. Their activities include running of nursery schools, creches, schools for mentally challenged children, financial assistance in deserving cases and handicraft centres for women members.
·A large number of staff welfare activities are financed through Staff Benefit Fund maintained on each Zonal Railway, with a specific outlay towards women empowerment activities. A separate amount has also been earmarked in the Staff Benefit Fund for grant of scholarships for higher education of girl child of Railway employees.
·To enable a safe environment for Women at work place, committees have been constituted, comprising of Senior Railway Officials and others to look in to any cases of harassment or victimisation.
·Complaint boxes are provided at the Zonal Head quarters and Divisional offices for Women employees to drop their complaints, without the risk of any threat or discrimination.
·SCR has a special mechanism to look into any complaints of harassment or undue pressure on women employees.
·To encourage the women workforce, outstanding performers are being felicitated at regular intervals.
South Central Railway is proactive and responsive in addressing the issues concerning women rail passengers and also its women workforce. The mission of Women Empowerment by offering best services to women on continuous basis will be the priority for the Railways.