Priya Sachan to become first woman Rapid Metro driver

From zipping on her scooter in Akbarpur in UP’s Ambedkar Nagar to driving one of the most advanced Metro trains in Gurgaon, Priya Sachan, 21, has come a very long way.

She is the only woman driver among Rapid Metro’s 32 train operators and station managers, who are now being trained by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

Priya is scared of NCR roads; as a student she used to travel on Delhi Metro and avoided city buses. “Metro is the safest mode of transport,” she says.

Akbarpur, her hometown in UP, is a railway junction between Lucknow and Varanasi. As a child, whenever Priya used to visit the station, she would wonder: “Why can’t women drive the trains?” Back then, she had little idea what destiny had in store for her. She wanted to be a pilot, has found her cockpit.

“Trains have always fascinated me. However, my association with Rapid Metro was a coincidence. Last September, a friend told me Gurgaon Metro was looking for train operators. My friend wasn’t eligible because 6×6 eyesight was a must. Being an electronics engineer also worked in my favour,” says the woman who once dreamt of becoming a commercial pilot.

Four years ago, when Priya joined Delhi University, she faced the dark underbelly of the city every time she ventured out. Soon, like thousands of women, she learned to survive on the mean streets of Delhi. “I never travelled in a bus. They are extremely unsafe particularly after when it gets dark. I always preferred travelling by Metro,” she says. “As a woman, I admire Metro for giving women safe public transport. And now, I am proud to be associated with Rapid Metro, which will soon provide a similar safe environment to women in Gurgaon.”

Priya, who is taking part in the trial runs, says she looks forward to driving trains with real passengers when Rapid Metro — the country’s first private Metro that will connect NH-8 to Delhi Metro via Cyber City, Gurgaon — becomes operational by April. Apart from operating trains, she is also learning to control crowds at stations and dealing with emergencies like signal failures. But, despite her job in Gurgaon, Priya is afraid to live alone in the Millennium City. “I would rather travel every day from Delhi. Gurgaon is so notorious and unsafe for girls,” she says.

When asked, how it feels to be the only woman operator on the team, she says with a smile, “Someone had to be the first”.

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=CAP/2013/01/06&PageLabel=1&EntityId=Ar00107&ViewMode=HTML

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