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Women can dial the toll-free number 182 to seek assistance from Subhadra Vahini and report their grievances.

With an aim to assist women passengers subjected to inconveniences and in a bid to boost security, the Visakhapatnam railway station under Waltair Division, East Coast Railway, has launched a special all-women team of railway personnel, named ‘Subhadra Vahini’.

This initiative was launched by Divisional Railway Manager MS Mathur on Monday as part of a joint venture between the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Waltair Division’s Commercial Department. 

The Subhadra Vahini intends to alert all lady passengers and prevent criminal activities against women, both on platforms and in trains. This special team consists of a total of 32 members, with an equal number of ticket checking staff and RPF personnel.

Women can also dial the toll-free number 182 to seek assistance from Subhadra Vahini and report their grievances. The team also has a Facebook page ‘subhadravahiniteamwaltair’ and Twitter page ‘subhadravahini1’ where they can be contacted about issues. 

The task force has been given a unique dress code for easy identification in case there is anyone seeking immediate support. The presence of the Subhadra Vahini will now enable women to report incidents of wrongdoings with ease and they would not have to feel hesitant about approaching male security officials.

The Waltair Division is also looking into the matter of gender sensitisation to ensure safety of women passengers.

"The mindset of people has changed towards the Railways during the tenure of the present government. Today, the Indian Railways is focusing on passenger safety and is putting its best foot forward to see how we can upgrade infrastructure to improvise and address the areas which affect the consumer directly," Union Railways Minister, Piyush Goyal told ANI. 

He also said that the government is investing in technology to ease up travelling. 

"The Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches are being used to ensure the safety of passengers. We are also focusing on how to improve the productivity of our employers," he added. 

Presently, the Subhadra Vahini has begun working and full-fledged searches are underway. It conducted thorough searches at Visakhapatnam railway station and apprehended 10 male passengers travelling in women’s coaches.

On Tuesday, the ‘Mahila Team’ rescued two minor boys from the platforms and handed over to Child Helpline forces.

It is also approaching several women at the station and on trains, and creating awareness about the team.