Mumbai: The Indian Railways have taken a major step towards the empowerment of women by handing over a station to an all women crew for the first time in the history of Indian Railways.
Matunga, located in the heart of Mumbai city, on Central Railway now have an all women crew which includes ticketing staff, security staff and other personnel required to operate the station. The station master too is a woman.
"Our experience has been very smooth or say somewhat magical. In my career spanning 25 years with the Railways I never thought of working with all women staff," said Ms Kulkarni, who holds the credit of becoming first woman station master in Mumbai division when she joined Central Railway in 1992.
"We are working like a family and with a sense of responsibility and cooperation," Ms Kulkarni said, adding, initially we faced a few problems but now we are taking them in our stride as part of job responsibility.
Even women ticket checkers deployed at Matunga station have learnt how to deal with male passengers.
"So far, we used to preferably check tickets of women passengers. But, ever since we have come here, we don't hesitate to ask tickets from male passengers," said a woman ticket checker.
A total of 30 women staffers, including 11 booking clerks, five RPF personnel, seven ticket checkers are working under the supervision of station manager Mamta Kulkarni since last two weeks, a Public Relations official from Central Railway said.
DK Sharma, general manager of Central Railway, who floated the idea of all ladies station, said, "We in Central Railway are convinced that there is no tool for development more effective than empowering our women and the ladies special station speaks all about it."
Matunga is an important railway station on Central Railway suburban network located between Dadar and Sion and many railway passengers use the station, including several railway employees who work at the railway workshop situated adjacent to the station.
With inputs from PTI