All-women staff, decorated ladies’ special train surprise commuters in Kalyan
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All-women staff, decorated ladies’ special train surprise commuters in Kalyan

Central Railway celebrates International Women’s Day by getting its first motorwoman to operate the Kalyan-CSMT local

mumbai Updated: Mar 08, 2018 13:29 IST
Sajana Nambiar
Sajana Nambiar
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,local train,ladies special
The engine and the front compartments of the ladies’ special were decorated both inside and outside with flowers and balloons.(Rishikesh Choudhary/ HT Photo)

Women commuters rushing to board the 8.01 am ladies’ special local at Kalyan station on Thursday were pleasantly surprised when they spotted a motorwoman at the helm.

On International Women’s Day, the Central Railway (CR) got India’s first motorwoman Mumtaz Kazi, 47, to operate the local train, which runs from Kalyan to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).

As women spotted Kazi, they gathered around the engine, and word spread, prompting many excited commuters to peep out of their compartment doors and windows.

“I saw a crowd near the engine and rushed to see why. I saw that a woman driver was going to operate the train. It is a rare, motivating sight,”said Shyama Shetty, 30, who takes the ladies’ special every day to get to her office in Dadar.

Kazi was in the engine compartment along with a woman guard, Mayuri Kamble, 22.

The CR got India’s first motorwoman, Mumtaz Kazi, 47, to operate the train from Kalyan to CSMT. (Rishikesh Choudhary/ HT Photo)

The engine and front compartments of the ladies’ special were also decorated both inside and outside with flowers and balloons. “We felt special as we entered our usual compartment. It was glittering and shining with decorations. This will definitely make my day, the feeling that women are special,”said Madhuri Shinde,24, who takes the local to go to her college in Thane.

Not just the driver and the guard, even railway police officials and the Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) were women. “It is good to see an all-women staff handling the train,” Shetty said.

After the train pulled into the station, Kazi took charge of the train along with Kamble, in the presence of senior CR officials.

“I am glad that today, many women are willing to take up jobs that were once male-dominated. When I drive the local train, it’s not just about doing my job but also about setting an example,” said Kazi, a resident of Kurla.

Kazi has been driving different types of trains since the age of 20. She applied to the railways for a job in 1989, after seeing an advertisement, and has been working for the railways for 27 years now.

“At this age, I got a chance to be the guard of a local train, which is a big achievement as well as responsibility. I will do my job efficiently,” said Kamble.

AK Singh, public relations officer, CR, said: “The train was welcomed at CSMT by our senior officials. It was followed by several other programmes to celebrate Women’s Day.”

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 13:28 IST