fifty years ago JANUARY 25, 1972 Archives

From the Archives (January 25, 1972): Women as bus drivers

Madras, Jan. 24: In the Tamil Nadu Assembly to-day, members belonging to different parties urged the Government to appoint women as drivers and conductors in State Transport buses with a view to creating a proper climate between bussmen and passengers. Mrs. Jothi Venkatachellam said during question time that, at least as an experimental measure, women should be appointed as drivers and conductors. The Transport Minister, Mr. A. Ramachandran, said that when men were not in a position to secure jobs, it would be rather difficult to appoint women for the posts. He pointed out that whenever there was unrest, transport buses became the target of attack and he felt that appointment of women as bus crew would be like “playing with fire”. Mr. A. Subramanyam remarked that in the eye of the law woman was man’s equal. Mr. K. Anbazhagan, Health Minister, said that while he appreciated the enthusiasm of members to champion the cause of women, they had to realise whether women would be in a position to bear the stress and strain involved in the job. The Government had taken steps to provide secretarial jobs in the depots and other wings of the State Transport Department. Mr. S. Ramachandran told another member that it would not be possible to appoint women in express buses as it would be inconvenient for them to work in fast moving buses. When some more members asked whether it would not create a proper climate between bus crew and passengers, the Minister said the aim of the Government was mainly to operate the bus services efficiently.

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