Many stations lack rest rooms and safe transport for those working at odd hours
Even as International Women’s Day is celebrated, highlighting the achievement of women breaking of the glass ceiling in several domains, including driving buses, trucks and trains, very little has been done to improve their working condition, said a group of women loco pilots.
The Southern Railway has more than 50 loco and assistant loco pilots operating the suburban trains in the Chennai division but face hardship such as lack rest room (running room in railway parlance) facilities, transport facility and lack of security while working odd hours.
The Southern Railway has been elevating women loco and assistant loco pilots to operate mail/express trains but with minimum working comfort. A woman loco pilot explaining the daily hardship faced by them to answer nature’s call because of lack of running room and safety concerns of attending duties to operate trains during odd hours at night, wanted the Southern Railway to build exclusive rest rooms in important railway stations.
The office-bearers of the All India Loco Running Staff Association, to mark the Women’s Day celebration this year, has submitted a petition to Senior Divisional Electrical Engineer (Operation) of the Chennai Division, Southern Railway, to take steps to provide exclusive rest rooms at Jolarpet, Arakkonam, Katpadi, and Tiruvottiyur. They have requested the railways to give instructions for using the rest rooms of Station Master/Manager for women crew in railway stations where such facility was not available.
The petition, which highlighted the need for transport for women crew attending to work at odd hours at night at Tiruvottiyur and Chennai Beach stations, sought women staff at the rest rooms for loco and assistant loco pilots.
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