For driver Manisha Mhaske Ghorpade, a motorwoman who drives CSMT-Panvel Local train on the harbour line, stay-at-home days are over. She reported for duty as the local trains in Mumbai resumed operations for essential workers from June 15. The local trains restarted operations after a gap of 84-day. Manish is not alone, more than two dozen women, employed in various roles in CR, have stepped out to do their bit as local trains resumed services for essential service staff in Mumbai, as per reports.

Recently, on Twitter, the Central Railway shared a picture of Manisha on duty. Manisha, who is breaking norms in a male-dominated field, is seen operating the train and wearing a face shield and mask. The railways also emphasised on the importance of staying safe during the ongoing pandemic. Manisha was applauded by netizens for joining and performing her duties in this time of crisis.

What You Should Know

  • Motorwoman Manisha Mhaske resumed her duty with Central railways as an emergency worker from June 15.
  • She drives CSMT-Panvel Local train on harbour line.
  • Mhaske started operating the train wearing a face shield and mask.
  • The Central Railways urged passengers to follow safety precautions while travelling in local trains.

About Manisha Mhaske Ghorpade

In January, Manisha had become the first pilot to operate Central Railway’s new AC local, thus breaking the proverbial glass ceilings. She started out as an assistant driver on a goods train in 2002 and then was promoted to suburban locals. She ​was in charge of electrical multiple unit services since September 2019. “It is a privilege and big responsibility. I will cherish this moment forever,” said Mhaske to TOI. One day, she aims to drive the Rajdhani Express. Mhaske stays with her husband in Badlapur.

“All the women – frontline and behind-the-scenes staff – play a cohesive role in protecting, safeguarding and transporting the passengers… They exhort us all to be safe and take full precautions. The world will view them as brave Corona Warriors,” CR Spokesperson Shivaji Sutar told IANS.

Women employees do their bit

Besides Manisha, another motorwoman in Mumbai locals, Mumtaz Kazi also came to work in full protective gear. She driver trains on the CSMT-Thane route.

Mamta Chaudhary, sub-inspector, RPF, Belapur, who also joined duties, said “We have a significant number of women in RPF who are now deployed round-the-clock for safety of stations, railway premises, trains and commuters.”

Bageshree Khopade, head ticket-checker of Matunga station, said, “It is a tough jobs as many alight from a train and we have to ensure that only those with valid identity cards and those identified as ‘essential service workers’ by the state government travel. We also check for valid tickets and passes as a team comprising women TCs.”

Kavita Mendonca, chief booking supervisor at Byculla, said that she is aware of the ‘scary scenario’. “However, I am proud that when most others are working from home, I am out there serving society during a crisis situation. It also makes my family and friends feel proud of me,”she said.

ALSO READ: Make the Indian Railways Disabled-Friendly: Open Letter

Feature Image Credit: Central Railways/Twitter

Read More Stories By Ria Das

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.