Report of Northern Railway Men’s Union (NRMU)
Shivgopal Mishra, General Secretary of All India Railway Men’s Federation (AIRF), said at the Zonal Women’s Conference organized by Lucknow Division of Northern Railway Men’s Union in Varanasi on November 16, that it has been their priority to provide a safe environment to women in the union. That is why today a large number of women are associated with the union. Women will have to play an important role in the struggle against privatization of railways and for the restoration of old pension!
Addressing this program organized in Varanasi, General Secretary Shivgopal Mishra said that as much as the participation of women in the organization is necessary, it is more important to give them a safe environment! The reason why women join NRMU is that their dignity is taken care of here. He said that in the last few years, the women’s organization of NRMU has not only done better work, but its hold among women railway workers has also strengthened! He also said that an organization that has adequate participation of women can never lag behind in any matter.
The AIRF General Secretary said that the Federation has always taken women’s problems seriously. That is why the women of Indian Railways are getting all the facilities for which the women working in other countries of the world are struggling today. He said that talks are going on at the highest level of the federation regarding the 20% increase in child care leave, and this problem will be resolved soon. The General Secretary said that even after the board’s order, separate toilet change rooms have not been arranged for women at many places; this is a serious matter. Women themselves have to come forward for this.
Shivgopal Mishra said that many times there are reports of violence and sexual exploitation against women. The union is able to take strict action in cases that come to the notice of the organization. However, information on many such incidents does not come out, which makes any action difficult. Women need to be aware in these circumstances.
The General Secretary said that the federation will work with the government at every step for the development of railways, but the attempt to privatize railways will not be tolerated! Apart from this, we will soon wage an all-out battle for the restoration of old pension, in which women will have to play an important role.
He expressed displeasure over the fact that the Zonal Working Committee/Federation for the conference makes efforts to provide leave/pass facility to women, but all women do not participate in the program despite this facility! This is wrong, and all members need to introspect.
The chief guest of the program, Anjali Goyal, General Manager of Locomotive Works, said that today it is not right to make any kind of distinction between women and men, because today there is no work that women are not doing. After inaugurating the program, she said that now the time has changed, women are capable of doing everything, so it is not right to discriminate in the name of women and men.
She said that we have realized that today half of the strength of women is spent in fighting for equality, which is not right. If we increase our knowledge, then we will increase this strength ourselves. Mrs. Goyal said that today is the time of technology, the sooner we become techno-friendly, the better it will be for all of us. Technology never differentiates between men and women.
Zonal Chairperson Praveena Singh said that women have not only strengthened the organization in a short span of time but have also made themselves self-reliant. She said that violence against women is happening not only in our country but also in other countries of the world. What is needed is that we should not tolerate such violence silently! Come forward and raise your voice against it, because it also increases pressure!
AIRF has started the Wellbeing program keeping this in mind. The union will try to contact such people and provide them better counselling facilities. If needed, NRMU will also get them treated! As far as some problems of women railway workers are concerned, efforts are on at the highest level for resolving them.
Union President SK Tyagi said that whatever is going on in Indian Railways is not right, it is going to benefit neither the railways nor the railwaymen! If privatization happens, the biggest difficulty is going to be faced by women! We not only have to understand these dangers ourselves but also have to explain them to other women at our workplace!
Mr. Tyagi said that the strength of the organization has increased with the entry of women. He said that the federation has also done a lot for women. Whether it is a meeting in the Board or Zonal Railways, participation of women has been ensured in it. Something or the other has been achieved for women from every pay commission.
National Youth Convener Preeti Singh said that if we want to work in a safe and stress-free environment, then not only do we have to join the union, but we should also mobilize more and more women! Women have achieved a lot through the union, and many more facilities are going to be available!
Mandal Secretary RK Pandey welcomed the women from all the mandals of the zone. Mr. Pandey said that the women may have faced some inconvenience in Varanasi, but we learn from our mistakes, and these issues won’t be repeated!
A large number of women delegates from Ferozepur, Ambala, Moradabad, Delhi, Lucknow, workshop, accounts, bridge participated in this conference. Zonal Women’s Convener Divya Sharma put forward a 5-point proposal, which was unanimously accepted! Apart from the women’s team of Lucknow circle, the local branches of Varanasi played an important role in making the program successful. The program was attended by former Mandal President Rajesh Singh, senior women leaders Saroj Dixit, Asha Chadha, Babita Shahi, Pawan Kumari, Sunita Bhatia, Pushpa Gupta, Sonia Hasija, Neelam Kumari, Manju Visht, Treeja Minz, Anita Kochhar, Manjinder Kaur and Rinke Singh, who addressed the meeting!
Zonal Secretary SU Shah, Assistant General Secretary Rafiq Ahmed, Central Vice President Ram Avtar Meena, Delhi Mandal President Anoop Sharma, Rajesh Choubey (Moradabad), Manoj Sharma, Sanjeev Saini (headquarters), Anoop Vajpayee (workshop), Upendra Singh (accounts), Shailendra Singh (bridge), were present in the program. Vibhuti Mishra (Lucknow) and Pradeep Sharma (Varanasi DLW) were also present.