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Pratima is a 43 year old woman residing in Kolkata. Her husband (who was a mini bus driver) had met with an accident and was unable to work. In order to support her family (she has two daughters and her mother in law), Pratima started looking for jobs.
She was good in driving so she started driving ambulance etc. But it was not satisfactory. Then when her husband was a little well, she started to learn how to drive the mini-bus (which they had bought before her husband had the accident).
Today Pratima is hailed as one of the most efficient mini bus driver in Kolkata and the only woman bus driver.
She leaves her house at 3:30 am and along with her husband (who is now the conductor of the bus) she drives the mini bus. She is very careful in driving as she realizes that she does not want anyone else to have an accident like her husband did. She follows the road rules. She does not overtake.
These are important as in Kolkata bus drivers drive very rashly and just stop anywhere and everywhere. They always overtake to get more passengers.
Being a bus driver is not an easy feat. It is a man’s world. Pratima does not say but am sure she is looked down upon by other men. I am sure she also listens to all the curses men use. I am sure many men may not trust her driving and may ridicule her.
Policemen applaud her for her efficient driving skills. One cannot imagine the struggle and difficulties a bus driver faces. There are irate passengers, other buses over taking you, vehicles and people not following rules. But this lady ensures rules are maintained by her.
I applaud her as I know how difficult it is to drive a public bus. There are so many challenges which she boldly faces. But the sad part is that she has to come back home and do all the housework. The housework is not shared by her husband. This is what saddens me.
Today she is earning money and being a caretaker. Her daughters are excelling in studies (one after excelling in gymnastics and swimming is now studying Mathematics Honors).
Pratima only says that challenges she faces are very difficult but it is how we deal with them is what matters. She never discloses any of the challenges she faces and nor does she get or expect special treatment in her field. I admire her as she took on a challenge and is now focused on getting the work done efficiently than cribbing and complaining about it.
But what about her husband? Why does he not help her in the household work I ask? Some tasks sadly are always left for the women and the world will never give an equal playing field to the women.
Image via Youtube
I love to write on women's issues. I strongly believe that every woman is
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