I’ve always wondered why more women don’t come forward to fill the positions in the railway sector. Have you ever met a woman Ticket Collector? I know I haven’t. Perhaps the long hours and nature of the job keep them away.
Not anymore though.
With all the wonderful changes that the Indian Railways is bringing about, including more women into their workforce is amongst the most significant changes.
In 2017, Mumbai’s Matunga station became the first to be operated by an all-women staff. Read all about that in an article we published here.
Following suit, a staff of 40 women will handle Jaipur’s Gandhinagar railway station.
“The entire activity on the railway station will be managed by women, that includes operations, which basically means operating the panel where you align the tracks according to the route of the trains. Then there are commercial operations like selling of tickets and ticket collection,” says Soumya Mathur, Divisional Railway Manager, Jaipur, as reported in NDTV.
What is amazing about this move is that from the ticket collector to the station superintendent, from the enquiry counter to the station master and even the pointsman – it’s an all-women show all the way at Jaipur’s Gandhinagar train station.
What makes the Gandhinagar station unique is that it is on the main line between Jaipur and Delhi.
Twenty-five trains stop here daily, including high-end tourist trains like Palace On Wheels and the Maharajas’ Express. Fifty trains pass the station each day, including high-speed ones like the Rajdhani and the Shatabdi. The station sees upwards of 7,000 passengers pass through it each day, said the publication.
Stationmaster Angela Stella, who completed one year in the Indian railways was excited and happy with the new responsibility. “I never thought I would be handling a station which would be all-women within one year of my job. I will abide by all the safety norms and apply standard operating practice while working,” Stella said to Times of India.
While this move is great, what is even more praiseworthy is how conducive the work environment is being made for these women. The staff toilets have been refurbished and work on changing room will also be completed soon. A sanitary napkin vending machine has also been installed at the station in association with Arushi, a non-governmental organisation.
Here’s hoping that other government and private companies learn from this move and follow suit.
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