Women drivers for Mumbai's Metro and monorail

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By Ashley D’Mello & Somit Sen, TNN

MUMBAI: Women may have shattered the corporate glass ceiling a while ago, but there are certain niches, such as the public transport system, where female presence is hardly felt. Even this skewness is likely to be phased out soon, with more and more women eager to take matters-rather, wheels-in their hands.

Following in the footsteps of female taxi, auto drivers and the motorwomen on the suburban railway network-though the number is not high-members of the fairer sex are eager to make a foray into Metro, monorail and even BEST sector. Even as the world is set to celebrate International Women’s Day on Thursday, the city has decided to recruit women as drivers for Metro and monorail.

Monorail operators, Malaysia’s Scomi and L&T, say they are all for gender equality and will welcome women drivers for their hi-tech transport monorail. “No gender discrimination will be made during recruitment,” said Scomi president Kanesan Veluppillai, who is also the head of the company in India. “There are women drivers on monorail and Metro in several countries, so why not in India?” He added that Scomi had several women engineers in India. “If any woman with the required skills and educational background applies, they will be considered. We need a diploma in engneering for the job,” he said.

Even the city Metro, like its Delhi counterpart that has more than 20 women drivers, is expected to hire female drivers in the next batch of recruitment. Like monorail, Mumbai Metro One also wants applicants to be an engineering diploma. Spokesperson for Delhi Metro Anuj Dayal said in the capital, they had from the beginning decided not to make discrimination over on gender issues and women were treated on a par with men drivers. “In Delhi Metro, women are also trained to take up station managers’ jobs. So far, our experience with the women drivers has been good,” Dayal said.

According to people in the transport circles, women are slowly taken up what is considered a “man’s job”, thanks to modern technology and the winds of change swept in by globalization. “Modern metros and monorails are built with the latest technology and are relatively easy to operate as they are highly automated. This makes it easier for women to handle them,” an official said. More info

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