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Another woman drives to equality

india Updated: Jul 25, 2010 17:55 IST
Rashmi Gupta

Richa Kumari Patel is just in her twenties, but is already a trailblazer for thousands of girls, a scintillating example that nothing is impossible for girls today if they are determined.

On Saturday, Richa became the second assistant loco pilot in the entire North-Eastern Railway division. "Today I am proud that I have made my parents' dream come true", Richa, a native of Aurangabad (Bihar) who lives in Chittupur locality here, told Hindustan Times. Richa assisted loco pilot Amar Nath Tanti of Vibhuti Express (2333) from Varanasi Cantt Railway Station to Allahabad City on Saturday afternoon.

"Whenever I travelled in trains I always wondered why train drivers were only males when females were doing really well in every field. I wished that one day I could drive a train putting to rest all myths", she said. She said her parents Surendra Prasad Singh, block staff in Panchayat Aurangabad, Bihar and mother Lalti Devi always wanted their four daughters to stand on their own feet and today their dream was fulfilled by one of them.

She said though during her schooldays she dreamt of becoming an engineer, destiny somehow made her an example for the girls who feel certain jobs are tailor-made only for boys.

Richa qualified the NER assistant loco pilot exam in her first attempt and underwent training from December 31, 2009 to May 17, 2010 at Gorakhpur headquarters of NER. "I am not scared but somewhat excited and a little nervous as it will be my first travel as a loco pilot assisting a very important train", she said.

On whether she will be able to drive the train till Allahabad in her first trip if some emergency occurred, she replied, "I am very determined and confident that if any emergency occurs during my first trip, I will make sure that I safely carry the passengers". On her very important day she was missing her parents and family who wished her good luck on phone from Aurangabad. As an assistant loco pilot, she is expected to exchange signals and take the authority to proceed at every station, examining the loco and importantly using emergency break in case of any emergency.