She dreamt of breaking into a male-dominated profession, and she did it! A 30-year-old Archana of Ballah village has become the first and the only woman driver of the Karnal city bus service.
Archana was selected as a bus driver on a contract basis in the city bus service started by the Karnal Municipal Corporation (KMC) in March this year.
So, how did she get around to getting behind the wheel of a bus? Well, the journey of becoming a woman bus driver was challenging but not impossible. A wife, mother and a daughter-in-law, Archana wanted to be financially independent, and felt this was a constructive way of doing it.
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Her story is truly inspiring. When asked Archana what was the driving factor that led her sitting on the driver’s seat she said, “Since my childhood I wanted to do something different to make a mark in this man-dominated society and I did it by becoming a bus driver. Now several girls and women are taking inspiration from me,” Hindustan Times reported.
Archana, originally belongs to Rajana village of Jind district. She quit studying after Class 12 and was married off at 18. But the mother of two could not let go off of her dream.
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She says her husband, Dharmendra Sheoran, who is a taxi driver and owns a small agricultural land in Ballah village, helped her realise her dream.
“Five years ago, I talked to my husband about my desire to become a driver and he extended his support to me. He even talked to his parents and convinced them to send me out of the house for driving training,” she said.
“After getting the heavy vehicle driving licence in 2014, I took up the job of a driver with a private bus from Ambala to Pipli in Kurukshetra. Two years later, I left this job and joined as a driver of a private school bus in Assandh in 2016. I got a chance again when KMC started city bus service. Out of three women candidates, I was the only one to be selected as a driver,” she added.
Archana said, “It was not easy for me to become a driver as I often heard people saying ‘bus chalana bahu ke bas ki baat koni’ (driving a bus is not the job of a daughter-in-law). This never discouraged me but rather gave me the confidence to prove them wrong.”
“Driving a bus was the best job I could do to answer these people who believe that women should not go out. Now people with such a mindset get shocked, when they see me driving a bus,” she said.
Today, with a salary of Rs 18,000 per month, Archana has her hands full with juggling motherhood and work-life. She said, “I am thankful to the Karnal MC for giving me this opportunity. I would like to apply for the post of a driver in Haryana Roadways in future.”
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We wish good luck to Archana. Hope your story inspires many other aspiring women out there.
Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times