Three college students have been guarding an unprotected level crossing adjacent to Vidyaganj Bazar at Chauhania in Mymensingh Sadar as the authorities are seemingly indifferent to appointing necessary guards for public safety.
The railway from Mymensingh extends up to Jamalpur via Nandina.
There had never been a gateman at this level crossing in the past. Which is why it was always unsafe for use and serious accidents occurred there very often. Since there was no barrier on either side, everyone had to move risking life.
For the past one year, three college students have been working eight hours daily to guard the level crossing. They added two betel plants and painted them to make a barrier.
When a train approaches, they give signal by blowing whistle and waving flag. They are doing the job out of social responsibility and sense of humanity.
Besides study, they guard the level crossing as part of safety concern for people's lives.
In this way, they have reduced the number of accidents to zero.
Anis Al Shuvo is one of the three young men. He is an honorary second year student of Bangla Department of Ananda Mohan College.
He said at the beginning, his acquaintances used to make fun of him, but now everyone is encouraging him. He is doing this out of social responsibility and sense of humanity. He guards the level crossing in the public interest.
Another young man is Jahidul Alam. He studies at Mymensingh College. A second-year honours student of the Social Work department, he narrated his diverse experience in guarding the level crossing.
When many people try to break the law, he has to quarrel with them and also he has experience of many people getting out of car and thanking him. There are also examples of people giving him chocolate as gift.
The youngest of the volunteers is Shahadat Hossain, a second-year student of Peerpur Shashikanta College.
His father Shamsul Haque said since it was an accidental-prone area, he initially started guarding the level crossing on his own. He later persuaded his son and two others into doing the job considering the matter of public safety.
A total of 24 trains run daily through this level crossing. No gateman has been appointed here, despite repeated pleas from locals to the railway authorities.
A few locals and drivers said there were no gatemen at the level crossing and accidents frequently occurred there. Since the level crossing is horizontal, it is very difficult for a driver to keep an eye on both sides.
For the same reason, cars slip and get stuck while crossing. And at that time, if a train passes in a hurry, an accident might occur.
Locals demanded that the railway authorities appoint guards on permanent basis for the level crossing at the earliest.