Each day approximately 10 people die on Mumbai’s suburban train system. Some get hit while crossing the tracks, while others die from falling off or being electrocuted by overhead wires. Despite the alarming figures, the Indian government has done little to prevent this loss of life.
It’s peak hour in Mumbai and millions of commuters are pushing their way into trains.
To successfully get on board, you must employ a number of tactics. First, there’s yelling to intimidate your fellow traveler. Then comes the shoving, pushing and elbowing. If you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself inside a carriage, sandwiched against thousands of sweaty bodies.
Six million Mumbaiites use the suburban network each day, with most funneling back and forth from the city’s commercial district in the south.
It’s survival of the fittest here on the train and there’s simply not enough room for everybody.
There’s an old saying in Mumbai – “Survive the trains, survive anything”. I was interested in doing a story before I left about the daily experience of the city’s commuters. Listen to my story on what makes Mumbai’s trains so deadly.
Aired on Asia Calling on October 17, 2010