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Maharashtra Roadways gets first woman bus driver

Archana Atram created history by becoming the first woman driver in the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation

Archana Atram, a 30-year-old woman from Maharashtra’s Nanded district created history when she drove the State Transport bus from Saswad to Nira. By covering the 35-kilometre distance she became the first woman driver of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation.

While the Corporation has been reserving seats for women for the post of driver, these have remained vacant. They were later allotted to male candidates.

This time six women drivers have joined MSRTC staff and one of them is Atram. Conversing with the media she informed that when she had come to Pune for training as a driver, she did not know how to ride a bicycle. Unable to differentiate between a clutch and brake or identify gears, she was taught from the beginning by her trainer.

She informed that in her endeavour to become a driver, she was supported by her entire family, including father, brothers, sister-in-law.

Her colleagues in the depot are happy for her. Many appreciated her driving skill and said that driving a heavy vehicle like a bus is not easy.

Her achievement was shared by Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and also Women’s Commission Chief Rupali Chakankar.

Way back in 2012 MSRTC had reserved 86 seats for women drivers but as no application was received it could not be filled. In 2019, the criteria of having experience of driving heavy vehicles for four years was changed and 150 women driver-cum-conductors were selected for the job. Of these six, including Atram were given the responsibility to drive.