Koyna Express and Deccan Express to have all-female staff on women's day

Mar 07, 2018, 11:41 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar

Kolhapur-bound Koyna Express and Mumbai-bound Deccan Express to have only women ticket checkers from Thursday

Motorwoman Surekha Shankar Yadav is Asia's first woman train driver
Motorwoman Surekha Shankar Yadav is Asia's first woman train driver

Come Women's Day (Thursday), Asia's first woman train driver, Surekha Shankar Yadav, will pilot the iconic Mumbai-Pune Deccan Queen.
Operating the Deccan Queen is one of the most challenging tasks, as it passes through ghat inclines, tunnels, and braking and speeding challenges. "More than concentration, it needs confidence," Yadav told mid-day.

Ladies first
To mark Women's Day, the Central Railway has decided to staff the iconic Deccan Queen with an all-female crew for the day. Yadav, who won this year's 'First Ladies' award at the hands of President Ramnath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in January, will be accompanied by Senior Assistant Loco Pilot Trushna Joshi and Guard Sweta Ghone.

Yadav said, "I had operated the train once before and can say it's a challenge. As much as it is a matter of pride, it is a one of great responsibility, too. It requires precision and attentiveness. After all, the safety of so many passengers is involved." Yadav started her career as assistant driver in 1989 and became a goods train driver in 1996, and a motorwoman in 2000. She then graduated to being a ghat driver, which requires rigorous training, concentration and discipline.

Central Railway chief public relations officer Sunil Udasi said, "This pioneering railway has come up with path-breaking ideas, including that of an all-woman station staff at Matunga, which has now been picked up by other railways across the country."

Making waves
From March 8, the Kolhapur-bound Koyna Express and Mumbai-bound Deccan Express will henceforth be permanently manned by women ticket-checking staff. Other initiatives include setting up of a special counter at the suburban concourse of the CSMT station with all-woman staff seeking suggestions from women commuters. In a related development on Western Railway, Dr Hafeezunnisa has taken over as the medical director of Western Railway's Jagjvan Ram Hospital at Mumbai Central. She is a senior doctor of the 1985 batch of Indian Railway Medical Services.

1989 Year Surekha Shankar Yadav started her career as an assistant driver

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