Sandhya Rasakatla, first woman underground mine manager: I feel proud to be the only woman here
On the occasion of International Women’s Day today, Sandhya talks about her journey as the first woman underground mine manager
When Telangana’s Sandhya Rasakatla joined Hindustan Zinc as a graduate engineer in 2018, there were only limited opportunities to work, as a woman, in the technical team and the underground mines. So, in 2019, when Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) announced the amendment allowing women to work in underground as well, the 25-year-old moved from the technical department to operations and gained experience.
Later, the Bhupalpally-based mining engineer applied for the DGMS Assistant Manager role and went on to become the first woman underground mine manager in the country today. Working from Zawarmala Mine, Rajasthan, she says, “Basically, I come from a mining background as my father used to work in coal mines. So, I was always fascinated with this world and that connection started from there. It is a very proud feeling to be here, because as a woman, we were the first ones in mining industry to be getting this exposure. Moreover, working with the same opportunities as our male counterparts adds to it.”
However, it wasn’t an easy journey as she reveals, “Gender bias is present everywhere, not just in mining industries. But being a part of this field, which is primarily male-dominated, it was challenging at first, but things eased out with time and my peers became more accepting of me.”