Pooja Devi, the first female bus and truck driver from Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir became popular when a picture of her was shared on Twitter by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Sing that went viral on the platform on December 25, 2020. The caption of the post read, “Proud to have from district Kathua, Jammu And Kashmir, the first women bus driver Pooja Devi.”
With her endeavours for women’s empowerment, a former heavy vehicle driver became a role model in the Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pooja Devi has previously worked as a truck and bus driver and recently she has opened a shop in the Kathua district.
Who Is Pooja Devi?
In her interview, Pooja Devi talked in-depth about her path, which included a long time spent operating buses and trucks.
She said, “I am very much grateful for the help of Jammu and Kashmir Khadi and Village Industries Board (JKKVIB) for providing me with financial aids, with which I could set up this business and could become financially independent.”
“My next goal is to start a drivers’ union for girls, and for that, I’ve been looking for support and opportunities so that I can provide the employment and self-reliance opportunities to other girls of the city too,” she further added.
She is also seen as a role model amongst the youth in the Kathua district.
One of the students who spoke with ANI said, “I continuously learn and get inspiration from her as I want to stay independent.” Also, Chairman Mahan Singh, District Development Council, Kathua, said “Pooja Kumari is a role model in the Union Territory (UT) as she is self-reliant.” He also said, “Now Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) has also helped her by sanctioning a loan of Rs 5 lakh, for setting up her own business.”
During the interview, Pooja said that she was the first woman to operate a heavy vehicle in Jammu and Kashmir, operating buses and trucks, but she was reliant on transporters because she was unable to secure a long-term position.
She now runs her own business and appreciates the government’s initiative to implement the employment generation programme.