On January 6, India witnessed its first all-female crew piloting a goods train from Maharashtra to Gujarat, becoming the first goods train in India to be ever crewed by women in the history of the Indian Railways'. Western Railway zone tweeted and informed that all-female crew piloted goods train has started from Vasai Road to Vadodara.
In a major breakthrough, Indian Railways' Western Railway zone had an all-female crew piloted goods train from Vasai Road to Vadodara on 5 January.@drmbct @DRMBRCWR @RailMinIndia @PiyushGoyalOffc https://t.co/vr7lhh3tQA— Western Railway (@WesternRly) January 11, 2021
Three women who drove the goods train was loco pilot Kumkum Suraj Dongre, Assistant Loco Pilot Udita Verma and Goods Guard Akansha Rai. This was the first time ever when Western Railway ran its first all-female crew manned goods train.
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal also took to Twitter and lauded Western Railway for breaking yet another stereotype and setting an example of women empowerment.
महाराष्ट्र के वसई रोड से गुजरात के वडोदरा तक मालगाड़ी का कुशलता से संचालन कर हमारी महिला कर्मचारियों ने सशक्तिकरण का एक अद्भुत उदाहरण सामने रखा है।— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) January 7, 2021
इस ट्रेन में लोको पायलट से लेकर गार्ड तक की जिम्मेदारी महिला कर्मचारियों द्वारा संभाली गयी। pic.twitter.com/mEubyshNAe
A senior railway official reportedly said that very few women come forward to join these posts of loco pilots and guards due to the gruelling nature of the job which involves travelling long distances. This breakthrough will be an inspiration for other women to come forward and take up such challenging jobs in the Indian railways.
According to the Western Railways, the fully loaded goods train was carrying a cargo of 3,686 tonnes in 43 closed wagons and departed from Vasai Railway Station in Palghar and arrived in Vadodara. In a statement, Western Railways said that now, the women of our country are proving their abilities beyond the threshold of household chores and are ready to accept challenging jobs. As per the Indian Railway ministry, a total of 1280 women candidates were enrolled as engine drivers in the Indian railways in the year 2019-2020.
On January 7, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 306 km Rewari-Madar Section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC). PM Modi also flagged off the world's first Double Stack Long Haul 1.5 km long Container Train hauled by electric traction from New Ateli-New Kishangarh.