Thursday night's incident, where a woman was reportedly injured as thieves tried snatching her mobile phone when she stood close to the door in a Mumbai local, shows that there are things we, as commuters, need to be careful about. Although boarding a local is second nature to most Mumbaikars, being mindful of a few precautions can ensure a safe commute.
A very obvious lesson from Thursday's incident:
Avoid leaning out of the train's door. Standing very close to the door should also be avoided.
First you could actually lose balance and fall off the train.
Second, if you have something expensive on you such as jewellery or mobile phones, you could be targeted by thieves who may not care about your safety.
Do not cross railway tracks ever. Always take the footover bridge to move to another platform. As many as 184 people lost their lives in four months because they chose to ignore this simple rule of thumb.
Never board a running train. However urgent you might think reaching some place might be, it can never be more important than staying alive or having all your limbs intact.
Avoid travelling in empty compartments. In case the train seems empty, choose the compartment closest to the motorman's cabin. A railway police inspector dna spoke to said that, at night, women should only travel in those compartments that have police presence.
In case you feel unsafe or want to report anything, call the railway police helpline 983331111. A constable, who answered the helpline, explained: The helpline has been instituted in case a person finds an unclaimed object or suspicious person and is unable to reach anyone. They can call this number for police help, which is generally made available at the next railway station , he said.
But Ganesh Dugane, a Punekar, who has made a short film on railway safety called Flyover, said that he does not know how far these measures can really apply to a city such as Mumbai known for its pace. It's not like people do not know these things, he said. The police informs them about it from time to time, railway compartments carry bills explaining all this but it never seems to be followed.