CHENNAI: A recent survey by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) among train commuters in the city showed that as much as 40% of the surveyed population was not aware of the security helpline — 182. Speaking to City Express, KK Ashraf, senior divisional security commissioner, RPF, said, “Last week, a survey was conducted on 1,500 commuters at suburban stations in the city. We found that several people, mostly women commuters, were not aware of the helpline number 182.”
Launched in 2015, the three-digit helpline is a pan India number to provide round-the-clock security-related assistance to passengers. The facility was introduced to provide speedy assistance in case of theft, pickpocketing, unclaimed luggage, harassment of women passengers, unauthorised persons traveling in ladies coaches and other related issues.
Considering the lack of public knowledge about the helpline, Ashraf stated that efforts were underway to create awareness through various mediums and posters and signs bearing the number have been put up at stations. He added that the RPF had contacted FM radio channels operating in the city to help spread awareness, and at least two of them have started broadcast messages about the helpline.
“We have uploaded a 1-minute video on Youtube, and are planning to put up a skit in a public place so more people get to know about the helpline,” the RPF officer added.
Meanwhile, the number of lines for ‘182’ have been increased from one to three, meaning that chances of users finding the number engaged will reduce. “Having been informed that the lines are often busy, we have added two more,” said Ashraf. In areas outside Chennai, there are two lines to handle emergency calls from commuters.