The cops will train hundreds of bus drivers and conductors on gender sensitization. The police will include both government and private transport workers in this project. Auto, app-cab and taxi drivers, too, will be given the same training.
Money from Nirbhaya fund, which aims at making commuting in Kolkata safer for women, will be used for the purpose.
The decision has been taken in the wake of some recent incidents at Ruby crossing, Garden Reach and Jodhpur Park where women commuters were either physically assaulted or molested by their male co-passengers.
The training will also be a part of Kolkata Police’s “Respect Women” movement that is likely to be officially launched on Wednesday, along with the closing ceremony of ‘Tejaswini’ workshop.
“We will be sensitising the transport workers on how to respect women and will cover all aspects of gender equality. A key concern area here will be how to make a woman comfortable while she is travelling,” said joint CP (crime) Murlidhar Sharma.
The training is likely to be organized over the weekend in batches and the best performers are likely to be rewarded. “Twenty-five traffic guards will be involved,” said an officer.
Kolkata’s transport workers, though, will not be the first ones to undergo this training. More than 10,000 bus drivers and conductors of Haryana Roadways are undergoing gender sensitization training by a private university under the “Safe Gaadi” initiative, an official said.
There has been six molestation attempts reported from inside public buses since 2019. Last month, the Lake police had nabbed a person for molesting a young woman hailing from Darjeeling while she was returning home from a south Kolkata mall.
The Watgunge police recently detained some people from inside a government bus at Kidderpore after an elderly woman complained of being harassed inside the vehicle. The Survey Park police had detained a 32-year-old man for allegedly passing lewd comments at a woman at an EM Bypass bus stop from inside the bus. The accused was nabbed after a homeguard of Purba Jadavpur traffic guard was alerted by the victim and the OC of the traffic guard himself reached the spot to nab the accused.
“We are always ready to react immediately to any such distress call,” said a Lalbazar officer. But he added: “But the men in uniform on the spot should take charge. This means reaching out to the woman, registering a police complaint and even driving down to the nearest police station,” said the officer.
There have been multiple arrests following calls to Dial 100 ever since model Ushoshi Sengupta was chased by bikers and the police brass introduced a new SOP that stressed on coordination between Lalbazar and police stations.
Source: Times of India