Officials of the Salem division, Southern Railway (SR), have added a new accessory to their arsenal to improve the safety of women staff working in vulnerable locations. In a first in Southern Railway (SR), if not Indian Railways, pepper sprays will be distributed to its female staff working in isolated locations like way wide stations, level crossings and cabins/yards.
An officer privy to the order confirmed the procurement of pepper sprays and told this paper over phone that they intend to distribute them in a couple of days. “Though security personnel are available to protect women staff on duty, sprays will help them defend themselves during emergencies in vulnerable locations,” the officer reasoned, adding that it was the first time such an idea was being implemented in the zone.
“Number of devices (sprays) to be purchased shall be decided according to the number of female employees working under their control and the utility of the device,” the order added. The list of female staff also includes female guards who ought to carry the sprays as personal equipment on duty.