KSRTC Gets Its First Women Drivers
Two women — Ammenamma Nadaf (29) from Vijayapura and Veena Hosamma (38) from Chickballapur districts — have been selected as drivers for the fleet of buses of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). Both women are the first to drive buses for the transport utility in KSRTC’s 35,000-strong workforce.
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According to Bangalore Mirror, KSRTC had recently sought applications to fill up vacancies. While 44 women applicants had showed interest, only 13 turned up for selection. Finally, only Nadaf and Veena were selected as drivers.
Likewise, there are nine other women employees currently working as driver/conductors in the corporation, but they have never driven a bus. “The new selection was based on practical experience, and we have selected only the best drivers who we have faith in,” said Rajender Kumar Kataria, Managing Director, KSRTC said.
Nadaf, who has a 15-day-old baby, always wanted to drive heavy vehicles. After school, she learnt to drive a car and also enrolled for training to drive buses.
“A few months ago, my husband saw the KSRTC ad and advised me to apply for the job. So, I applied. During the selection process in Hassan, I secured 32 points out of 50. There are various levels to be cleared. You’ve to drive proficiently on sharp curves, inclines, on track that resemble figure-of-eight, and such. I received a confirmation on my selection on Wednesday. I have to report to work at the Tumkur division,” she says.
Veena too is passionate about driving. She first learnt to drive cars and graduated to multi-axle vehicles and even lorries. She even trained her brother, who is a lorry driver.
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“My parents have been very supportive in letting me pursue this profession. When I got to know that KSRTC was recruiting, I applied. I know it is a challenging job, but with support from my family, I can face it,” says Veena. “What I have noticed is, in cities or district headquarters, when women drive big vehicles, they are appreciated. But that is not the case in rural areas. Women are often humiliated when they take up a challenge. If I get a chance to work in a city or district headquarters, I will be very happy,” she added.
Asked why there was a delay in inducting women drivers in the transport corporation, Kataria said: “A few years ago, nine women joined the corporation as driver-cum-conductor but all of them chose to work as conductors. The policy at that time allowed all new employees to choose between being a driver or a conductor. But now there is a change in policy. New employees have to work as drivers for a period of five years. After this, they can pick a position. So, technically, these two women are the first women drivers working with the corporation.”
The corporation has a workforce of 32,000, of which 2,500 are women working in offices, as conductors or at the workshops. “Whoever applies for the position of a driver has to meet the requirements. We cannot compromise on quality. Both of them have required eligibility and have cleared the driving tests. Generally, our employees work odd hours. But for women employees, we relax some rules. These two women drivers will be asked to work in the day shift and they can choose routes they are familiar with,” Kataria added.
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We wish good luck to the ladies. Hope your stories inspire many other aspiring women out there.
Feature Image Credit: The Hindu
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