Mumbai, Jan 13: Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday launched two initiatives by Mumbai Railway Police -- SAMEEP (Safety Alert Messages Exclusively For Passengers) and B-Safe.
"The numbers, what I saw, was 700 people last year died because they fell out of the train, which is really unfortunate, and 1,600 people lost their lives while crossing tracks.
"I feel in today's world every minute matters, there is competition everywhere," the 42-year-old cricketing great said here at the launch.
"I feel a lot of time (the thinking is), if we cross railway tracks, then we will reach quicker, there will be benefit of five minutes instead of crossing the bridge while going to the other platform. These are small things - one, you are breaking the law, and you are risking life for five minutes.
"Your family and friends are waiting for you back home and if you reach there five minutes later it really does not matter. It is important to be there, safe and sound, rather than be in hospital," he said.
"I will request: do not sit on the train roof and travel if the train is crowded. Everyone is hard pressed for time, but still (I ask you), leave that train, be patient and do not break rules," he said. Tendulkar also recalled how, as a schoolboy, he and his friends once had a scary experience trying to cross the tracks.
"Right from the age of 11, I travelled by trains in Mumbai. When I travelled I had a kit-bag. I have also experienced jostling, being pushed in and out of trains, these experiences will stay with me," he added.
"In school, I had gone to Vile Parle to a friend's place. We -- five or six boys -- had practised in the morning and had gone to his place for lunch. Then we decided to watch a movie. After watching the movie, we got late for practise and hence we decided to cross railway tracks and go to the platform and board the train at Dadar. "While crossing the tracks, halfway, we realised that trains were coming fast on all the tracks. We ended up crouching on our knees in between the tracks with our kits. That was a scary experience and then onwards we never crossed train tracks," he said.
Talking about the two safety initiatives, Mumbai Railway Police said, "SAMEEP is an effort towards instant communication with railway passengers in case of any eventuality.
"Under this scheme, we invite commuters to give Missed Call on 7208015207 or SMS MH RLY COP to 166 to get registered. Those who get registered will be sent an SMS when required about important developments/disruptions, safety advisories, women security updates, correct information to dispel any rumours," an official release said.
"B-Safe is a prolonged multi-media awareness campaign. It is for educating the public about various precautions they should take for safe commuting. The themes range from crime control, women's safety, accident-prevention, reporting of suspicious activity, etc.," it added.
The campaign will see theme-based posters being put up at all platforms, distribution of pamphlets and awareness meeting of commuter associations, educational institutions," it said. Mumbai Railway Police Commissioner Madhukar Pandey, who was present on the occasion, said that nearly 75 lakh people travel via trains in the megapolis.