The Indian Railways have thought of a special way to usher in the International Women’s Day. In a first, the central railways have planned to have an all-women crew for the Mumbai-Pune Deccan Queen. Incidentally, Deccan Queen was the first to have a ‘Ladies Only’ car.
Surekha Yadav, Asia’s first woman loco-pilot, will motor the train. A Central Railways official indicated that there will be one run of the train with all-woman staff from Mumbai to Pune on March 8, reported the TOI.
Apart from the ticket checking staff, women personnel from the RPF will also we part of the crew. “Finding TTEs and RPF staff is not a major issue. However, we will have to identify woman Loco Pilot, Assistant Pilot and Guard. However, this too may not be much of an issue,” said SK Jain, Division Railway Manager (DRM), CR.
According to Sunil Udasi, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of Central Railway, “This is another step towards recognising the presence of women in all walks of life, including complicated and technical train operations. The Central Railway has already identified an all women crew aboard the Deccan Queen Express for the new experiment.”
Deccan Queen is Central Railway’s flagship train it entered its 88th year of service in June 2017.
To its credit, Deccan Queen has several firsts already. Deccan was India’s first superfast train, first long distance electric hauled passenger train and the first train to have vestibules.
In the recent past, the Central railways have been in the news for its efforts of diversity and inclusion. Mumbai’s Matunga station recently became the first station in the country to be run entirely by an all-women squad. And this event has got them a space in the Limca Book Of Records, 2018.
Also, a few days ago as part of International Women’s Day celebrations, the Railway Ministry announced that it will install sanitary napkin dispensers and incinerators in about 200 major railway stations across the country.