Apparently, Mumbai has a fairly sizable problem with people getting themselves killed by crossing train tracks where they ought not. Sizable to the tune of about seven people a day, according to some estimates. There also seems to be an issue with people keeping themselves on the trains, as around 650 people were said to have died in the space of a year after falling off of them.
So, what to do?
If you’re India’s Western Railway, you enlist the services of ‘Yamraj’, God of Death.
अनाधिकृत रूप से पटरी पार ना करें, यह जानलेवा हो सकता है ।
अगर आप अनाधिकृत तरीक़े से पटरी को पार करते हैं तो सामने यमराज खड़े हैं ।
मुंबई में पश्चिम रेलवे द्वारा आरपीएफ के साथ मिलकर 'यमराज' के कैरेक्टर के माध्यम से लोगों को जागरूक किया जा रहा है। pic.twitter.com/UM5O5OYQIR
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) November 7, 2019
The Western Railway authorities deployed a Railway Police Force (RPF) jawan in the attire of ‘Yamraj’ to catch the attention of the commuters and educate their regarding the issue.
The jawan, dressed as Yamraj, made people understand the risks involved in crossing unmanned railway tracks and risks of jumping onto tracks to save a few minutes of their time, which can often turn perilous.
In the pictures tweeted by the Ministry of Railways, the Yamraj could be seen carrying the erring passengers over his shoulder or in his arms and taking them to the safety of the platform.
Along with the pictures, Railway Ministry’s handle warned the people in Hindi, “Do not cross the track in an unauthorised manner, it can be fatal.”
“If you cross the track in an unauthorized way, then Yamraj will be standing in front of you,” Railway Ministry added.
Considering how many adults don’t get the message, this feels like an idea other countries need to start borrowing when teaching train safety to children. We don’t all have our own gods of death, but if they don’t want to share Yamraj with us, I’m sure we can come up with something of our own. Something like Elmer the Safety Elephant, just with a little more punch. Maybe Randy the Railway Reaper?