Monday, February 05, 2007

Ladies Only

A week of Mumbai train travel is over, but I'll end it with a couple of more photos and some information.

The Mumbai local train has two ladies compartments, one at the end and the other is the middle ladies compartment. Each compartment has 3 entry doors. The compartment at the end of the train is for ladies for 24 hours. It's advisable to travel by this one at late hours for security reasons, as it is adjacent to the driver's cabin.

The middle compartment has two sections, a larger one that is accessible from two entry doors and the other (smaller one) from one entrance. The two sections are seperated by a partition with a window. The larger section is for ladies for 24 hours, but the smaller section is either ladies or common compartment according to the timings put up at the entrance. This one's tricky coz you must complete your journey within the timings, else you'll find an impatient crowd of men jumping in at the next station, saying it's already the common timing. And don't expect good manners, as everyone is in survival mode. The timings are different in the Central and Western railway trains.

So, attention ladies! If you are new to train travel in the city, forget about peak hour travel (take a bus that's not overcrowded instead) which are usually from 8 am to 9.30 am and from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm. Anyways, you may find trains crowded even during non-peak hours. So, please don't rush into any compartment, especially the common one. Miss a train, stand at the right place to board the train (the railway stall staff is very helpful in giving directions), wear stable footwear, hold your belongings tight and get ready for the journey. Good Luck!

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  1. Why is so important (for women) don't ride on men compartiment?

  2. Ok, thanks for the question. I wanted to mention it in the post but didn't want to scare anyone. Many men misbehave with women in an overcrowded train, especially if they are not escorted by men. What really matters is not if you are bold enough to slap or hit back to teach a lesson but why spoil your day? Instead get into the ladies compartment and travel with peace of mind. I see it not as an act of cowardice but an act of wisdom.
    Does this happen in your city too?

  3. That's intersting. I would expect that in Saudi Arabia, Iran or any other Islamic country. But Mumbai...It is still good to have some peace for women that way, if it is necesarry. But still it is sad. Isn't it?

  4. It need not always be a bad experience, but I know of teenager girls who were physically abused by decent-looking men in an overcrowded compartment, and it has scarred their minds forever. One simply hated men for years. And I don't want anyone to be victimised like that again.

  5. It's sad watching at it in absolute way. But if you watch at it as local use I think it means lot of respect of women. In fact they didn't reserve compartments for men but for women. A way to protect them.

  6. Very interesting. I enjoyed reading your comments and explanation. I wasn't able to see your photo for today. It came up as a question mark.

  7. Hi Anu,
    Well here we don't have this problem... even women are always more susceptible to men, you know, maybe in a overcrowded train someone can touch you, but it's not very usually, and if you say something about this all the people inside the train will be at your side inmediately. So there are not women compartiments, the only separate compartiment here is WC! Uuf! ;)

  8. People don't dare if trains are not very crowded, because they know they are being watched. But when it's overcrowded trains, no one seems to bother about helping anyone. It's called survival mode here, coz if you are not alert, you could be pushed out by the crowd on the wrong station.
    And inspite of such difficulties, hats off to Mumbaiites who brave every situation in train travel with smiling faces every morning.


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