Lucknow Metro: Priyanka, Pooja show small-town girls way forward
The duo, who gatecrashed into the traditional male bastion of driving trains, looked unnerved while helming the Lucknow metro train with home minister Rajnath Singh, chief minister Yogi Adityanath and several other VVIPs on board.lucknow Updated: Sep 06, 2017 12:51 IST
The two women pilots turn heads during the inaugural ride of the Lucknow Metro on Tuesday by successfully steering the task perceived to be tough for fairer sex.
In the process, Mirzapur-girl Priyanka Chaurasia, 22, and Agra-born Pooja, 21, also inspired women from small towns to dream big.
The duo, who gatecrashed into the traditional male bastion of driving trains, looked unnerved while helming the metro train with home minister Rajnath Singh, chief minister Yogi Adityanath and several other VVIPs on board.
“I am happy that years of hard work have paid off,” said Priyanka.
“I was flamboyant from the beginning. I had this knack of doing things that were considered exclusive to males,” she said while ruing over a missed opportunity of meeting chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
“When I became an electronics and communication engineer and applied for a job at Lucknow Metro I never thought of becoming one of the best women pilots,” she said.
Grateful to family for supporting her in choosing an ‘unusual’ career for a woman, she said; “I am from Mirzapur where no one could have thought of me becoming a metro train pilot. I thank my family and the staff of Lucknow metro for boosting my morale during the training,” she added.
Her co-driver Pooja said she always aspired to be different from others. “I wanted to do things that girls usually don’t dare or care to do. I am happy that I was selected for this job. Piloting the train is a matter of pride,” she said.
Pooja holds a diploma in electrical engineering and joined Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation last year.
Both the women underwent rigorous training at LMRC’s centre of excellence.
They also received hands-on training from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in the national capital.
Managing director, LMRC, Kumar Keshav said, “I am proud to see women power ready to drive the train during its launch. Both the pilots are professionals and the best in the business. LMRC has proved that it treats men and women equally.”
“As the head of Lucknow Metro project, I have always tried my best to motivate my staff towards giving their best. I know they have been working hard, without a break. Enjoying one’s work is important and both these women do that.”
Keshav said the real challenge was coming from Wednesday when the pilots would be driving trains full of passengers. “They would be tested daily under stressful conditions.”