Noida Metro to develop “Pink Stations” to empower women

In a bid to encourage gender equality and create safe environment for women, Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) has decide to transform two stations into “Pink Stations”. These stations will be operated by female staff and also be equipped with special facilities for them

Women empowerment in India has seen some of the most encouraging trends. From economic liberty allowing women to stand against stereotyping to the internet and information revolution helping them voice their concerns and demand rights as equal citizens, there is a positive shift from the conventional patriarchal thinking to gender equality. NMRC’s concept of “Pink Stations” is a contribution towards empowering women.

On the occasion of NMRC’s 5th foundation day celebrated on November 5 at the Indira Gandhi Kala Kendra Noida Sector-6, PD Upadhyaya, Executive Director of NMRC announced the Pink Station initiative. The metro line connecting Noida to Greater Noida known as the Aqua Line is 29.7 km long and have 21 metro stations. Of the 21, the Pari Chowk station and the Sector-76 station will be turned into “Pink Stations” as a pilot initiative.

To explore about the kind of facilities available at the pink stations which make them different from the regular ones and to know more depth about the initiative, Upadhyaya told Urban Update, “The idea is to dedicate a few stations of the metro line to women so that they should know that they are no longer being left behind and importance is being given to their specific needs, safety and employment. With the exception of security personnel, employees working at these station would be women.”

Regarding the status of the project, he said, “As the project is a pilot so we have decided to turn Pari Chowk station and Sectoe-76 station into pink stations as there are many residential complexes nearby and we have a good number of ridership from these stations.”

The Noida metro has planned to equip the stations with few female-specific facilities. Diaper dispensing machines, sanitary pad dispensers, baby feeding room, make-up room, selfie point are a few of such facilities that Upadhyaya mentioned.

Detailing about the facilities, he further said, “There are a lot of schemes that the Government of India has launched in the recent years and which are being monitored every now and then but are not known to many people. A kiosk will be setup by the metro corporation which will provide information about schemes like Ujwala Yojana, Dainya Suraksha Yojana, Saubhagya Yojana, and more. Also, for security, the kiosk will be connected with Government of Uttar Pradesh established ‘Women Power Cell’.”

1090 is the helpline number which will get an immediate police assistance to any woman in need, Upadhyaya added.

Ambulance facility will also be available at the station and assistance for the same will be provided from the kiosk. When asked about the remodeling of the stations, he said, “We will not remodel the stations but we have kept a color code ‘pink’ and that will be implemented. If you talk about facilities, we will be building and renovating certain parts at the station so that all the facilities planned can be installed. But, complete remodeling will not be done.”

Although, the concept of “Pink Stations” seems to be quite optimistic about empowering women but what about their security, especially for the staff leaving late in the evening after work? Security would be a major concern for every women trying to be a part of this initiative. However, Updhyaya, addressing this concern, said, “We have our NMRC’s depot in Sector-Delta of Greater Noida and we have cabs available for staff personnel. Every women leaving late can use the cab facility and it will drop them at their doorstep.” From their respective stations women can travel by metro to the depot and can avail the cab facility. Metro travel is completely safe as we have security cameras, and security staff deputed at every station, he added.

Further, he said that NMRC also has staff quarters in Sector-Delta near their depot and staff personnel, including women, are staying at these quarters and there are no complaints from them regarding their safety as of yet.

Hence, NMRC is working on implementing this plan of dedicating two of its stations to women and these stations would be operational by the end of December. The extension of the project to other stations would depend on the success of this pilot project and response from female passengers.

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