By Times of India – Gurugram: Police to train women toll workers in self-defence as skirmishes rise The pressure of dealing with commuters who refuse to pay toll has been leading to severe mental stress among w…Read MoreGURUGRAM: In view of the rise in skirmishes between their staff and people wanting to cross the toll plaza without paying, the Kherki Daula toll plaza management has decided to provide self-defence training and personality development classes to all its women employees. The classes will be organised in collaboration with Gurugram police. A proposal has already been submitted regarding the matter, officials from Skylark, the toll operator, said. According to the management, the increasing pressure of dealing with unruly commuters who refuse to pay toll has been leading to severe mental stress and lack of confidence among the women staff, especially those who are still studying in colleges. Skylark officials claimed that they regularly counsel the staff, but an increased need for dedicated training was felt over the past few weeks. While self-defence training would help them protect themselves in life-threatening situations, personality development would help them counter commuters who boast of links to politicians and threaten them of dire consequences, they said. “Kherki toll plaza is infamous for skirmishes with unruly drivers. Locals have always been very rude and offensive towards our staff. From being verbally abused for asking toll to being attacked and threatened by lethal weapons, our staff goes through a lot just to do their jobs. This has led to low confidence among the women employees,” said RS Bhati, Kherki toll plaza project head, Skylark. “Through this initiative, we aim to instil confidence in them to deal with all kinds of drivers. Some unnecessarily argue instead of paying toll and boast of their connections. Others hurl abuses at them and even attack them sometimes. They need to know how to deal with all kinds of people,” he added. Toll employees have complained that while they have always been targeted by the locals for asking toll, the situation has become grave now. Due to rising fuel prices and steep decline in income, locals and transporters are increasingly getting into heated arguments over paying toll, they said. “The situation has never been easy. But now it’s becoming more tense due to rising fuel prices and dip in income. Commuters argue with us that the government is not providing any monetary relief and we are looting them. When we try to be stern, they attack us — both verbally and physically. Had I not been compelled by my family’s financial vulnerability, I would not be doing this job. I hope the training gives us the strength to cope with all this,” said a woman operator at the toll plaza, who didn’t wish to be named.

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