What pops up in your mind when you think of Women’s Day? Standing up for gender equality, opportunities and extraordinary achievements.
Every year on the 8th of March we celebrate women’s cultural, political and socioeconomic achievements in a variety of disciplines. Women’s Day also serves as a wake-up call for a gender-equal world devoid of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, as well as one that is diverse, equitable and inclusive, with diversity valued and appreciated. It has evolved towards being a platform for raising awareness and catalyzing social change.
Today on the occasion of Women’s Day 2023 we have got you an inspiring story of a fierce lady of India, Surekha Yadav – Asia’s first female Loco Pilot. Indian women today are showcasing their capabilities with their extraordinary achievements. And are also being recognized and respected with such opportunities in their respective fields. It is now said from flying a plane to running a train, a woman can do anything and everything.
The gateway to these opportunities opened only after that first woman who took the very first step to enter the male dominant working field. And today, we are glad to introduce one such woman who is Asia’s first female train driver.
In an exclusive interview with us, Surekha Yadav talked about her motivation, challenges, people’s reaction, and most importantly her mindset before taking up this job.
About Surekha Yadav
Asia’s first Loco Pilot Surekha Yadav was born on 2nd December 1965 in Maharashtra. She acquired her primary education from St. Paul Convent School situated in Satara district in Maharashtra. Surekha’s secondary and higher education includes a vocational degree and a Diploma in Electrical Engineering.
Was Train an integral part of Surekha Yadav’s childhood?
In an exclusive interview with Surekha Yadav, we asked her if trains were an integral part of her childhood. “No, not all, my father was a farmer and we were staying in Satara city and the railway station was 6 kms away from the city. So, we couldn’t travel there every now and then to see the train.” said Surekha.
According to her, she never had planned to become a Loco Pilot. Her parents always encouraged her to complete her education and her school supported her with a good education.
How did it all start for Surekha? Why trains?
According to Surekha, she had never dreamt or thought about becoming a Loco Pilot or a Motor Woman. After completing her 12th standard she applied for the exam of Asst. Loco Pilot. She also got a lot of criticism for opting for something that is not a “female” job. But, this did not change her mind and she was determined to appear for the tests. After clearing the written test followed by the viva, she went on for a psychometric and A1 medical test.
She knew she was meant to do this the moment everything took place smoothly. And soon she was appointed as Asst. Loco Pilot and completed her training at Kalyan training school.
Surekha Yadav Career Highlights
Surekha began her career as a goods train driver. She was promoted to the position of Motor Woman in the year 2000. Surekha then went on to become an Express Mail Pilot in 2011. She has driven trains on the Pune-CST route, which is regarded as one of the most dangerous railway routes in India.
Surekha Yadav talked about how this entire journey and all her achievements were possible because of her parent’s support, her education, and her determination to do something in life. Surekha also said how she is learning and getting well-versed in new technologies. She talked about how everything is turning digital and emphasized the benefits of online train ticket booking.
We have a lot to learn from this inspiring lady, and hence on the occasion of Women’s Day I would like to conclude by quoting her words in the interview,
“No field is male-dominated. Until and unless females enter that field it will remain male-dominant. It is the mindset we need to change for the world to change!” – Surekha Yadav