More power to them: 60 women from Pune take over the power lines from men

Published: 08 November, 2013 07:51 IST | Priyanka Deshpande |

These women, part of the MSEDCL's line staff, are slowly getting adept at climbing up utility poles and fixing wires, ironing out the kinks in electricity meters, snipping power supply of defaulters, all tasks traditionally reserved for men

At the city division of the state electricity board, the job of a line staffer someone who fixes your electricity glitches has traditionally been a male bastion. But the power equation is slowly tilting.

Three line staffers work on an electric box to sort out the glitches. Pic/Sachin Thakare

A team of 24 women from across the city, who completed their training as line staffers for the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL), after undergoing a training schedule, are now rubbing shoulders with men on the field.

The line staffers have pleasantly surpirsed their supervisors with their commendable performance. Pic/Sachin Thakare

Madhuri Ganvir, who joined the state electricity board in August, says that with adequate training and learning on the go, she is confident to take on chores such as scaling utility poles to carry out repair work. The 29-year-old hails from Chandrapur district in eastern Maharashtra. “Initially, I was scared to work.

But after attending to calls for meter replacement, and disconnection of power supply for defaulters, I have understood what precautions to take. I’m no longer scared,” said Ganvir. She added that her male colleagues supported her on the job.

For 23-year-old Vaishali Dhakulkar, who works at the Pimpri division, attending an emergency call to change an electricity meter in Tathawade will always be an experience to remember. “A couple of days ago, our division received an emergency call. I was extremely nervous when we started the work. But with the help and encouragement from my seniors, I succeeded in installing a new meter,” she said.

“I was unsure whether women could work on the field and perform at par with men. But after a few days of these women joining the service, we started receiving a positive feedback from the citizens,” said Nilkanth Wadekar, MSEDCL chief engineer, Pune zone. He said that the women staffers laid all his doubts to rest with their exceptional performance.

No of women recruited as line staffer across the state August

Number of women line staffers working in Pune zone

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