Lucknow, Feb 25 (IANS) While Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that the rail budget 2011 was for common people, women folk here expressed their dissatisfaction with it, saying she did not announce “any specific arrangement” to ensure women’s safety on trains.
“We were having high expectations from Didi…(elder sister, as the minister is popularly called). We expected she would announce measures to ensure our safety in trains. But we were surprised the issue was not taken up in the budget,” Archana Chitranshi, a resident of Indira Nagar colony, told IANS.
Banerjee even failed to mention the plans she had announced in her last budget for ensuring women’s security on trains, another woman said.
Deepshikha Verma, a research scholar in Lucknow University, said: “I remember that in her last rail budget in 2010, Mamta Banerjee announced the deployment of 12 companies of women Railway Protection Force (RPF) named ‘Mahila Vahini’.”
“Forget about announcing new measures for our safety, the minister did not utter a word about the status of the Mahila Vahini,” she added.
Nupur Chaturvedi, an LIC official, said: “It’s surprising and shocking. We thought being a woman, the minister would better understand our problems while travelling in trains. It’s depressing that the budget had no special provision for the safety and security of women passengers.”