Surekha Yadav has had many firsts to her credit so far. She joined the Railways as assistant goods driver in 1989, and became the first Asian woman to drive a train in 2000 and today she has become the first woman to pilot the Deccan Queen, a daily train connecting Mumbai and Pune.
How would you sum up your journey so far?
I joined the Railways as assistant goods driver in 1989 and was promoted as goods driver in 1996. I became a motor woman in 2000, a ghat driver in 2010 and then within next three months, an express mail driver on May 24, 2010.
Which is your most memorable trip?
On April 14, 2000, I drove the ladies special train for the first time, from Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus to Kalyan. Women passengers were gleaming with joy to see me in the driver’s seat. I also drove the first ladies special that ran on the Harbour line.
How do you manage your professional and personal life?
Doing justice to both can be quite taxing at times, but thanks to my family and colleagues, I have managed both.
You chose an uncommon profession. How does it feel?My dream to pilot the Deccan Queen is being fulfilled and that too on the International Women’s Day. I thank the Railways for giving me this opportunity.
What’s your message for women on this occasion?
It’s not that women can’t excel in their career, but they are often loaded with domestic responsibilities. Women should believe in themselves and we can surely do the