A 26-year-old girl has stormed yet another male bastion and has landed the job of a loco pilot in Madurai division of Southern Railway.
Though Madurai railway division already has a woman loco pilot, B A Deepthi, who recently joined as assistant loco pilot, is the youngest. Besides, she is the only woman to pilot trains now as the other loco pilots are assigned to control room.
Deepthi, a native of Thiruvananthapuram, joined duty on July 4 after undergoing a two-month training at Golden Rock, Trichy, and completing another 20 days of road learning exercise in Madurai division. Currently, she navigates passenger trains in the division.
“A job in railways was my passion from childhood, but I can’t say that I was very inclined towards piloting locomotives,” she said. After acquiring a diploma in electronics engineering, she applied for a job in the railways and cleared the examination.
Employees of the Southern Railway were surprised at a young woman coming to the job. Many passengers, who spot Deepthi, initially were also surprised. However, they all congratulate her. On Friday, she co-piloted Madurai – Dindigul passenger train, which arrived at the Madurai junction by 9.10am. When she arrived at Madurai junction, a group of women passengers praised her saying that she has become a role model for women.
Loco pilot K Vinod Kumar who piloted the Madurai – Dindigul passenger said Deepthi has already shown signs of excellence in the job. “The job needs high amount of concentration and a great sense of responsibility as hundreds of passengers travel, trusting us. Deepthi seems to have understood the job’s elements and is doing well,” he said.
As an assistant loco pilot, Deepthi is assigned the tasks of monitoring signals and communicating with the loco pilot of the train, keeping a watch on essential gauges of the locomotive, and assisting the loco pilot in operating the train. “I am enjoying my work and it is quite interesting,” Deepthi said. “I think there are some more women loco pilots in the division but they are doing office works. I enjoy piloting the locomotives at present and am learning the skills eagerly,” she added.