Feel no less than celeb: Motorwoman
On Thursday afternoon, as Central Railway’s (CR) first air-conditioned (AC) entered Thane station, it was welcomed by a band, flowers and cheering crowds.
“I feel no less than a celebrity,” said motorwoman Manisha Mhaske, 45, who has risen from being an assistant driver on a goods train to piloting CR’s first AC local.
One of two motorwomen in CR, Mhaske joined the Railways 17 years ago.
“In 17 years of my career in CR, I have never been disappointed. CR is very considerate about providing convenient shift timings to women,” said Mhaske, who has also operated suburban local services on the Panvel -Thane route.
It’s a matter of pride that in all her years of service, she has never had any incidents like jumping a signal or missing the platform. “The job of a motorwoman has its own challenges. However, the job also gave me this opportunity to drive the AC local. I want women to get inspired and take it up as a profession,” she said.
With Mhaske’s husband and other relatives riding CR’s first AC local’s debut ride, Thursday was a proud moment for the family. In stations where the train stopped, strangers came up to Mhaske as she walked from one end of a platform to the other, to hug her and take selfies.
“Throughout the commute from Panvel to Thane, people have being congratulating and motivating me,” said Mhaske.