Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.
The Western Railways broke yet another glass ceiling on Tuesday, January 5, when an all-women crew took charge of a goods train and piloted it from Maharashtra's Vasai Road to Vadodara in Gujarat.
This has been hailed as a step towards encouraging gender-neutral roles and setting an example that no task is beyond the capacity of women 'to perform and excel'.
"A freight train was run with all Women Crew i.e. lady Loco Pilot, Astt Loco Pilot & Guard from Vasai Road to Vadodara on WR on 5th January 2021," tweeted Western Railway (WR).
"WR has broken yet another stereotype that has left an indomitable impression in the annals of history. The women have set a glaring example that no job is beyond the capacity of women to perform and excel," said Western Railway General Manager Alok Kansal, reported Onmanorama.
WR's Chief Public Relations Officer Sumit Thakur's provided details on such a historic step, according to Deccan Herald. The goods train that departed from Vasai Road to Vadodara was helmed by loco pilot Kumkum Suraj Dongre, assistant loco pilot Udita Verma and goods guard Akansha Rai.
"This will be a game-changer and an inspiration for other women to take up such challenging jobs in Indian Railways," Thakur said.
Akansha Rai, an MBA graduate from Indore, piloted the train as the goods guard. According to the report, Rai joined as goods guard in the Mumbai central division of WR on April 4, 2019. The job of a good guard demands vigilance and is strenuous as the person-in-charge has to stay in their brake van during the entire run where no basic facilities are provided.
However, the situation has improved with the running of 8 wheeler brake van but the job is mentally and physically taxing. Rai believes that this step will challenge the notion that certain professional tasks can only be carried out by men.
Also, doing this job fills her with pride to "serve the people of our nation," Rai said.
On January 1, 2021, the Moscow Metro hired the first batch of female drivers who started operating the transport services. 12 women were inducted into the services after changes in controversial laws which banned women from certain jobs.
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