On a train from Hyderabad to New Delhi last Tuesday, Radha Lohar, 19, passed a note to another passenger with a message that Lohar was being taken to New Delhi “against her wish”. The passenger immediately called the Railway Protect Force through a security helpline. He also shared the note with his relative, Divyansh Khunteta, who tweeted a photo of the note to Indian Railways.
With the help of Twitter and rail authorities, Lohar is now safe from the hands of her captives, who are suspected human traffickers.
From the trail of tweets that may have saved her from life in slavery:
— Divyansh Khunteta (@Divyansh131) January 5, 2016
Indian Railway officials responded quickly, alerting the train operators who stopped the train at nearby Ramagundam Station. The Railway Protection Force boarded the train and apprehended the kidnappers.
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) January 5, 2016
— RB IGCNI (@IR_IGCNI) January 8, 2016
Authorities discovered that Lohar was working for a job placement agency before being taken against her will to New Delhi. Pratham, a non-governmental organization (NGO), took Lohar under protective custody and plans to return her to her home in West Bengal. The tweet below shows a photo of the rescued girl along with RPF Personnel.
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) January 6, 2016
After joining Twitter in July 2014, the Ministry of Railways has employed a team to monitor and respond to passenger complaints around the clock. In November, a female passenger received immediate assistance from authorities after being harassed aboard a train in Maharashtra. Another passenger tweeted to request medical assistance for his ailing father on the Yesvantpur-Bikaner train. To his surprise, railway staff were waiting on the platform with a wheel chair to help escort his father off the train.
Cheers to Ministry of Railways for their efforts. Let’s hope this trend continues, ensuring safe travel for all aboard the Indian Railway.