A union of rail employees has demanded that the national transporter make provisions for counsellors to address concerns of train guards in the backdrop of a slew of train accidents.
The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) has written a letter to the Railway Board and said that just like such counselling is available for train drivers and their assistants, guards should also have access to regular counselling.
The letter dated January 15 said the Muzaffarnagar train accident, as well as subsequent incidents on the railway network, had adversely impacted the Indian Railways’ image.
While the board had taken initiatives for improving safety standards, there was a need for “greater vigil and alertness” to address the “human element”.
“The role of train guard is very crucial, safety oriented as the guard is also accountable for train safety as well as passenger safety,” the letter from NFIR general secretary M Raghavaiah said.
Train guards needed to be provided with counselling which loco pilots and ALP (assistant loco pilots) have access to, it said.
The guards are usually in command of a train during its travel and all its passengers look to them for any assistance and relief. They are also the first responders in the case of an accident.
However, this is not the first time that the federation has written to the board. It had done so previously in 2015 and 2016 demanding that train guards be counselled on the job.