Thursday, February 09, 2006

Racks and Ruins in train journey

- Sumeet -

Usually, train journeys are said to be very homely. Amenities like latrine and food make the passengers feel comfortable. Travelling through train is quite convenient for long journeys. These facilities make us feel at home in reserved compartments. Mostly long travelers prefer reserved compartments because they can sleep and sit pleasantly in train than bus. The decrease in ticket rate caused a remarkable hike in the number of passengers.
Both facilities and disturbances in train increasing proportionately. Interference, have been crucial while traveling in train. The passengers have to face a variety of problems during their journey. Disruption are getting increased both in reserved and in unreserved compartments. People face decisive problems like Gambling, Drinking, Littering,
Commotion etc inside the bays.
Gambling, a form of organized game, may be a timepass for the travelers, But, the proportions it is being played now a days are alarming. “Ecstasy and timepass” we feel, while playing, says a passenger. It is fatally evolving in to a social problem. Gambling in all trains almost has led to violence and problems. People bet their money on numbers for fun. Even women take part in gambling. It is prohibited under Gambling Act of 1867 and is a minor offence and a punishable crime. Our police personnel are very vigilant in raiding local places. But, in case of train, they are lazy. Even the Railway Police Force (RPF) is ineffective where gambling is considered. The maximum punishment is a fine of Rs 500 to 1,000 and imprisonment. The railway authorities are not coming forward to act against such crimes.
The ordinary travelers cannot cope up with such situations. Like Gambling, there are other problems like littering and commotion. Travellers usually don’t keep the latrines clean. It challenges the health of the passengers. Our “Health and Hygiene” remain as a question in our country. It may cause some disease.
Theft and Robbery are increasing in our trains, especially in reserved bogies. Usually, people traveling in reserved cabins need rest and sleep. But, some make use of such opportunities. This problem is very critical in ladies compartment also. Women are involving in such crimes. This becomes a great mystery for the passengers.
Whether the women are safe in the train? Definitely, they are not. Because crimes like sexual harassment and molestation are taking place in trains. Many rape cases are reported in the past years. A recent event in Mumbai stated that a 20-yrs-old woman was allegedly raped by a young man while she was traveling with her family. These happenings questioned the chastity of women community.
The government must direct the police to act accordingly against such crimes. So that justice prevails and the perpetrators of such heinous crimes were punished.

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