India News
Search Web Directory
News Home
Indian Railways: Providing equal opportunities to women
Posted on 21st October 2019
Pritilata Mondal is a railway mechanic. She works at the railway yard of the Santragachi station of the South Eastern Railways. Earlier this year, the railway authorities released a video of her day at work on YouTube. It was about how she got a job in the railways, how she was recruited as a mechanic though she had no technical knowledge about wagons, how she inspects wagons, repairs glitches and hammers the nuts and bolts back in place and so on and so forth. Says the chief public relations officer of the South Eastern Railways, Sanjay Ghosh, “In our division, we have employed many women who do tough mechanical and technical jobs. There is nothing that a woman cannot do. To encourage our women workers we have made videos of them and shared them online.”

Santragachi station is 10 kilometres from the heart of Calcutta. Station manager Dhananjay Singh says, “It is one of the busiest junctions and our staff has to be on the toes all the time.” Among them there is a large number of women, including three stationmasters, to manage traffic.

On the top floor of a four-storey building, Stationmaster Debasmita Biswas is at work. She is sitting with what looks like a dozen landlines — black, blue, grey and off-white. She is receiving call after call, writing down arrival and departure timings of trains, updating the cabin master about it, “Up-e local, middle-e 4461, 14 down, 423… 4461 is approaching on the middle track and 14 down is also approaching, 423…” Before she can complete, one of the phones starts to ring.

It is a biggish room with four people at work. They are facing a huge white panel on which there are several yellow and red dotted lines running parallel to each other — they represent railway tracks. The panel is consulted to control the movement of trains.

The cabin master, who is Debasmita’s boss, is constantly dictating instructions to the man in front of the panel. “Put the down train on this line. Up train on the line above...” No chitter chatter can happen here, no room for distraction. “A small mistake might lead to a huge disaster,” says Singh.

I catch Debasmita when she takes a 15-minute break. She is quite the express train herself, with her speedy and impassioned commentary.

“There are 10 landlines here — three for the gates [railway crossings], one for the section controller [who controls the movement of trains in a particular section] and the rest are of various stations adjoining Santragachi — Shalimar, Andul, Tikiapara, Amta, Maurigram,” she rattles away. She says she sometimes hears the announcers’ voices in her dreams. The Bengali Honours graduate says she had appeared for more than one competitive exam and qualified for jobs in four government departments. Three years ago, she decided to join the railways.

According to Singh, it’s true that Debasmita’s job is challenging, but the women working at the yard have to labour harder and their job involves physical labour. Such as what? “Such as Pointsman B. The person holding this post has to physically shift the railway tracks, by using a pulley, and link them to help a train change tracks,” he says. “Manoeuvring the pulley requires muscle power and technical knowledge,” says Dhaumya C. The volleyball player from Kerala who got the job in the sports quota has been a Pointsman B since 2007. She still plays for the S.E. Railways’ volleyball team.

For many of the women employed here, the railway job is first about filling empty shoes. Pritilata got the job after her husband died. Sumita Pal, who also holds the post of Poinstman B, joined after her father opted for voluntary retirement. Like the others, she has been trained at the railways school in Kharagpur. “We have to make sure that the tracks have been joined properly and there is no gap or else the train will get derailed,” she explains.

Dhaumya is waiting for her next promotion. “It is the post of the cufflink cutter. One has to join a compartment to another. It involves hard manual labour,” she says as she stands waving a green flag at an approaching train after having set the tracks in place.

Half a kilometre away from the railway yard is the rail crossing. Sunita Dubey, another Pointsman B, is waiting for the local trains to pass. After a train pulls out of the station, she presses a green button, the pole that acts as a barrier goes up and the traffic starts to flow once again. Her workstation is a small room positioned such that she can observe the up and the down trains from either side of her cabin. She says, “The challenge is when the up train and the down train arrive at the same time and I have to signal to both.”

Sunita’s shift is either from six in the morning or from two in the afternoon. “The second shift ends at 10 in the night,” she says. As a woman gateman, this is the relaxation she is allowed. There are no night shifts. “But this is true for all the women workers here. And for Sunita, this is a must as her workstation is quite far away from the Santragachi station,” says Singh.

The Indian Railways is probably one of the largest employers in the country to date. As per the Indian Railways Statistical Publication 2016-17, 13,08,000 people were employed as on March 31, 2017. Of these, one lakh are women and that number has been increasing since.

Ghosh of S.E. Railways talks about women who are working at the other stations that come under the S.E. Railways. He says, “Krishna Ghosh and Chitra Mahato are electrical maintenance staff at Girni Station in Jhargram. They go up the iron electric poles and repair the overhead lines. Then there is Deepali Amrit who is the assistant loco pilot for the goods train in the Ranchi division. Parvati Dome is stationed as a women guard in Purulia.”

“Nothing is impossible, you see,” he signs off.

Other Latest News
'Be more careful in future': SC closes contempt plea against Rahul Gandhi over 'chowkidar chor hai' remark
Posted on 14th November 2019
In a relief for Rahul Gandhi, the Supreme Court on Thursday closed a contempt plea filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi against the former Congress chief for wrongly attributing to the court his "chowkidar chor hai' slogan against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale case.

The Supreme Court said, "Mr Rahul Gandhi needs to be more careful in future," for attributing to the court his remarks.

Schools shut today, tomorrow as air quality deteriorates in Delhi
Posted on 14th November 2019
The schools in the national capital will be closed on Thursday and Friday, the Delhi government announced on Wednesday.

The city’s air quality reached the higher end of the ‘severe’ category on Wednesday, even as the Centre’s Task Force, meant to advise on implementing the Graded Response Action Plan, recommended that schools be shut and industrial activities be curbed till November 15.

VST Industries hits new peak after Radhakishan Damani buys shares
Posted on 14th November 2019
Shares of VST Industries jumped up to 7.5 per cent to hit a new high of Rs 4,600 apiece on the BSE on Thursday, a day after Radhakishan Damani bought 2,70,000 shares at Rs 4,259.99 apiece on the BSE, according to bulk deal data. The data also showed HDFC Mutual Fund sold 273,706 shares at Rs 4,260 apiece.

At 10:53 am, the stock was trading at Rs 4,573.70, up nearly 7 per cent. In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was trading flat at 40,182 levels, up just 0.16 per cent.

Women's entry at Sabarimala: Supreme Court refers matter to larger bench
Posted on 14th November 2019
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday referred to a larger bench pleas seeking a review of its 2018 ruling that allowed menstruating women from entering the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra said a larger bench will hear if the court can decide matter of religious practice. Justices R F Nariman and DY Chandrachud gave dissenting opinion.

'No inquiry needed': SC dismisses review petitions against its previous order on Rafale deal
Posted on 14th November 2019
The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed Rafale review petitions against its December 14, 2018 judgement, after it was found to be without any merit.

The Supreme Court was due to deliver the verdict on the review petitions against its earlier judgment dismissing any corruption in the deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from a French company.

» Post a FREE Classified Advertisement
Inviting Real Estate Agents, Job Placements Agents, Educational Institutes, Software Service Providers, Real Estate Builders, Marriage Bureaus, Travel Agents, Restaurant Owners, Health & Fitness Centers and other Local Businesses to Post a FREE Classified Advertisement on Classifieds Website.
Jobs in India India Real Estate Automobiles Matrimonials Beauty & Fitness

Add a comment for Indian Railways: Providing equal opportunities to women
Please only use this form to enter comments on the above company. All comments are reviewed before they are displayed on the web site. Not all comments may be displayed. Check back with us to see if your comments have been displayed.
If you want us to email the comments posted by users, please Subscribe by email
Security Code*

Be the first person to write a business review for Indian Railways: Providing equal opportunities to women

Most Read News

Ayodhya verdict shouldn't be seen as victory for any side: Left parties

Govt gives sugar mills time till Dec 31 to export last year's balance quota

Reliance Industries puts off gas bid for the second time to November 15

Jindal Steel & Power hits over 4-month high, zooms 60% in one month

Moody's cuts India outlook to negative, predicts 'prolonged slower growth'

More India News

Photo Gallery

Pooja Hegde(12 Images) Pooja Hegde
Esha Gupta(10 Images) Esha Gupta
  India Web Directory
Business Profiles
Automotive Directory
IT/ITES/BPO Directory
Hotel Directory
Health Directory
Business Directory
Gems & Jewellery
Education Directory
Real Estate Directory
Agriculture Directory
Logistics Directory
Yellow Pages
NRI Guide
Photo Galleries
Global Web Directory
*** FREE India Classifieds
Order Premium Listings
Submit a Site
Business Reviews
About us
Link to us
Contact us
Google Search Keywords: India Catalog, IndiaCatalog, India Web Directory
    © 1999 - 2019
    All Rights Reserved
Privacy Statement