Context: Indian Railways has launched “Meri Saheli” initiative for focused action on security of women across all zones.

About  “Meri Saheli” initiative

  • It is an initiative of Railway Protection Force (RPF)
  • The objective is to provide safety and security to lady passengers travelling by trains for their entire journey from starting station to destination station.
  • It entails interaction with lady passengers especially those travelling alone by a team of young lady RPF personnel at the originating station. 
  • These lady passengers are told to dial 182 in case they face or see any problem in the coach. 
  • The platform duty RPF personnel at the stopping stations en-route keep unobtrusive watch over the concerned coaches and berths.
  • RPF teams at the destination collect the feedback from the identified lady passengers. 
  • If some distress call comes from a train covered under “Meri Saheli” initiative, the disposal of the call is monitored at the level of senior officers.

Railway Protection Force (RPF) 

  • It is an Indian security force entrusted with protecting railway passengers, passenger area and railway property of the Indian Railways.
  • RPF is the only central armed police force (CAPF, commonly known as para military force) which has the power to arrest, investigate and prosecute criminals. 
  • The force is under the authority of the Ministry of Railways (India).
  • The RPF utilises a similar rank structure to the other paramilitary forces in India, and the Indian Police Service. 
  • Non-gazetted ranks are the same as those used in the State Police Services.