BJP leader and chairperson of Maharashtra State Commission for Women, Vijaya Rahatkar wrote to Union Minister of Railways and Commerce Piyush Goyal asking for reservations for pregnant and lactating women traveling by local trains in Mumbai.
In an appeal to the Union Minister, Rahatkar wrote about the traveling issues for women, specifically for 'pregnant women and lactating mothers' in public transport, specially in the local trains of Mumbai. Pertaining to the overcrowding in locals, she asked the Ministry to either first priority in General Compartment or reservation for women in the above category.
She further stated that the decision to allow Pregnant women to travel in Handicapped Compartment is appreciated, however, it is not possible always to board the particular compartment during rush hours.
The letter read:
As a chairperson of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women, I come across various issues relating to women in all spheres of life. One of the crucial issues is traveling of Pregnant women and Lactating mothers in public transport specially in local trains of Mumbai. Compartments in Locals are so overcrowded during rush hours that Pregnant women and Lactating mothers face several risks. She is unable to board or alight easily or may slip and miscarry.
The efforts taken by your esteemed Ministry in allowing Pregnant women to travel in Handicapped Compartment is appreciated but it is not always possible to board of particular Compartment during rush hours.
Hence, I humbly request your esteemed Ministry to Reserve or give first priority of minimum two seats for Pregnant women and Lactating mothers in every General Compartment so that mishaps related to women and Infant can be avoided.
Goyal in the Modi Cabinet 2.0 holds the portfolio for Railways with the additional charge of Commerce and Industry. In his first stint as railway minister, Goyal, a Rajya Sabha member, achieved several firsts -- it was during his tenure the government announced its first bullet train which would run from Mumbai to Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state, manufactured its first indigenously-built and engine-less high-speed train Vande Bharat Express, commissioned its longest bridge, converted a diesel loco into an electric one for the first time, built its first transport university, and its first air-conditioned local train.
In a similar move for women using public transport, the Aam Aadmi Party government on Monday announced that the Delhi Metro and DTC bus rides will be free for all women in the National Capital. Addressing a press briefing, AAP convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal stated that this plan is for the safe travel of women in public transports. Besides the free rides in Delhi Metro and DTC buses, Arvind Kejriwal has also stated that it will install over 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras across the national security to ensure the safety of women.
While the move is yet to be cleared by the Centre, Arvind Kejriwal further added that the scheme will be launched in three months and the Delhi government would bear the cost worth Rs 700-800 crore this year.