BENGALURU: The Railway Protection Force officer, who made the lives of hundreds of women commuting between Bengaluru and Mysuru comfortable and safe by creating a special ladies coach out of a general compartment on the Chamundi Express, has done a praiseworthy job again.
S Louis Amuthan, the Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (SDSC) of the Srinagar Railway Protection Force, who held the same position at Bengaluru, before he was transferred to Kashmir last August on completion of his tenure, has become a local hero now.
Amuthan sprung into action right from September when he realised the poor state of public transport in Kashmir. Women in Kashmir had to walk anywhere between 2 km to 5 km to the nearest bus stop depending on the railway station they alight at.
The freezing cold in Kashmir and the skies turning dark as early as 5 pm got him thinking on a novel initiative to improve the lives of the women, by providing a safe transport facility using available resources.
With 17 RPF buses and a huge number of cabs at their disposal, the RPF decided to put it to good use. For the last four months, the RPF has been helping out women railway passengers and young children in 12 out of 16 railway stations in Kashmir by ferrying them free of cost in RPF buses and vehicles to the nearest bus stop.
Altogether four buses are used to transport women from Srinagar (2 buses), Budgaum and Anantnag while Tavera cars are used to transport the women from Qazigund, Mazhom, Banihal, Brijbehra as well as places notorious for terrorist activities like Baramullah, Sopore, Avanitipura and Kakapura.
The free bus-drop facility commenced on September 5 this year. Eight pairs of trains stop at these stations on a daily basis. “The service is mainly to drop them to the nearest bus stop, but if women flag them down and ask for a drop towards the railway station, that is also done,” says Amuthan, who was on vacation in Bengaluru this week.
What has really touched him was a signed statement sent by nearly 800 women who have benefited from the bus service, lauding this wonderful initiative.
“The women have now formed a group under the aegis of the Kashmir Valley Women Railway Passengers Association,” he said. RPF Director General R R Varma too has lauded this service. He has asked the Division to send a list of personnel to be recognised with an award.