Image Source: raftaar
Prema Nandapatti, the only women bus driver in Karnataka has set an example for all who think that women are exceptionally good at doing many things other than driving.
She was fond of driving since she was young but had never thought of it as profession. It was only after her husband passed away that she stepped out into the man’s world to provide for her mother and 11 year old son.
Though she already had four-wheeler driving license but driving a bus was nothing like driving a car. So, she learnt to drive a lorry and got a heavy transport vehicle driving license. After she got selected at BMTC, she received a month’s training before she started off on Route No. 171.
Out of all the BMTC female workers, she is the only bus driver. Currently she drives from Majestic bus station to JP Nagar. Her command over the steering and courteous attitude of the men bus drivers and passengers has made it easy for her to drive a bus on Bangalore roads which is otherwise nothing less than a challenge.
She starts her shift early and does not mind working extra hours if needed. Unlike many other bus drivers she holds a ‘no accident’ record so far. Prema was praised and given a cheque of Rs. 10,000 by BMTC for reporting for duty when all other drivers struck work for a day. With her passion mixed with duty, she hopes of driving Vayu Vajra airport buses one day.
The TLI community salutes women like Prema Nandapattin, who have the courage to change the obstacles into opportunities.