April 12, 2002  

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Mini of Karanath Veettil, Mathilakam, Thrissur

The awakening and empowerment of women continues in all spheres.  The all-women crew in a private service bus in Thrissur-Kodungallur route is an example of this.  Says Mini, the 25-year-old driver: “The first time I sat in the driver’s seat, it was like being on top of a coconut tree.  Now the bus and I are friends.”

Mini and other crew are employees of the Women’s Cooperative Transport Society formed as part of People’s Plan under Thrissur District Panchayat.  The Society operates two buses and has 3 drivers and 10 conductors to manage them.

Mini of Karanath Veettil, Mathilakam, Thrissur chose driving as a profession when the financial condition at home offered no other hope.  She drove taxi cars and autorickshaws earlier.  She has even driven the car with passengers to Kozhikkode and Thiruvananthapuram at night.  About those experiences she says: “One must keep the eyes and ears open.  Then nothing untoward will happen.”

Each member of the crew know how to apply grease and change tyres.  A conductor after one week will take on the role of door checker.  At the time of cleaning the bus there is no difference between driver and others.  All of them together do it.

For conductor Thankamoni, maintaining balance in a running bus with ticket rack in one hand, bag and pen in the other was initially difficult.  But now she has become experienced in the job.

“We get all round cooperation.  The traffic police often ask if there is any problem”, say the crew.

The commuters also like the women-handled bus.  Pleasing behavior of the crew and punctuality are some of the points they appreciate.



Courtesy: Vanitha, Jan 1-14, 2000

Contributed by: Administrator


"A diamond is valuable though it lies in the dirt"  - Roman proverb