A train conductor in New Zealand has been garnering a whole lot of praise after she asked a passenger to get off the vehicle midway as she passed racist comments at a co-passenger on August 8, NZ Herald reports. The incident happened on the train that was travelling to Upper Hutt from the Wellington Railway station.
An Indian-origin passenger on the train was conversing in Hindi on his cellphone and it appears that a young girl, who was also travelling on the same train, wasn’t quite pleased. So, she began yelling at the Indian, as narrated by another passenger on the train on condition of anonymity.
Soon after the conductor overheard the girl misbehaving with the Indian passenger, she was asked to get off midway.
“A young girl, about 16, was yelling at a passenger and saying, ‘Go back to your country, don’t speak that language here’. She said she was getting off at the next stop, and the conductor said, ‘No you can get off at this one, I’m not putting up with that nonsense’,” the witness was quoted as saying by Checkpoint.
JJ Phillips, the conductor, called the police after the young girl refused to get off the train. “Well, I’m not getting off the train then,” the girl had said, as per the witness. Other passengers, in fact, were delighted that the conductor took a stand and weren’t bothered about the fact that the train stopped midway for around 20 minutes.
“A lot of us had turned around and were watching the situation unfold. Everyone was over the moon she decided to do that and stand up to that behaviour. We were just in awe that she (conductor) had the courage to say, ‘This isn’t on and I’m not going to put up with it, no matter who you are and whether you’re a paying customer or not – you can get off the train and find your own way home’,” the witness added.
The report in NZ Herald states that the Indian-origin passenger was taken aback after the incident. While speaking about the incident, the conductor told NZ Herald that she was alerted about the incident by another passenger.
“Just as I was walking through getting the tickets, one passenger raised a concern with me, so I went to where this particular passenger was. She was a teenage girl and she was hurling abuse at some passengers, and the passengers who were receiving the abuse, I called them out and I asked them what had happened,” the conductor said, as per NZ Herald.
She also said that the Indian passenger “was just minding his own business” and speaking to a friend in “their own language”.
“It appeared this teenage girl had an issue with him talking in his own language and she was being racist and abusive towards him. We don’t put up with language like that, of any kind. We carry passengers to and from A to B, and we want our passengers to get there in a safe manner,” the conductor said.
Before signing off, the conductor also told NZ Herald that everybody deserves respect “no matter what race you are”.