DTC gets its first woman driver

30-year old Venkadarath Saritha from Telengana took up auto rickshaw driving 10 years ago to support her family.

April 18, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 10:45 am IST - NEW DELHI

: In a move described as a major contribution to women’s empowerment, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has appointed a 30-year-old woman from Telangana as its first female driver.

The driver, Venkadarath Saritha, will be on day-time duty on regular routes in Central Delhi.

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai handed over DTC’s appointment letter to Ms. Saritha, who was earlier working with Azad Foundation’s Sakha cabs in the Capital, in the presence of transport officers and media persons at his office in State Secretariat here on Friday.

Ms. Saritha, who moved from Hyderabad to New Delhi four years ago, was selected from among seven women candidates who had applied for the post in response to a DTC advertisement. After completion of formalities, she attended a four-week training programme at the DTC training school.

Sharing her story of grit, determination and struggle against odds, the newly inducted woman driver told media persons that she took up auto rickshaw driving 10 years ago because of financial problems in the family following her father’s prolonged illness.

“As the youngest among five sisters, I took it as a challenge to financially support my family. I moved from Nalgonda district to Hyderabad and obtained a heavy vehicle driver’s licence,” said Ms. Saritha. She later found a job at Holy Mary College, where she drove buses to ferry students.

Four years ago, Ms. Saritha found an opportunity to drive all-women Sakha cabs run by Azad Foundation in Delhi. As part of her assignment, she drove high-end cars, including BMW.

Ms. Saritha will join duty at Sarojini Nagar Depot on Monday, after which she is likely to be on day-time bus driving assignments. She said she would take special care of women passengers travelling in her bus and abide by all traffic rules and regulations.

“This is [indeed] going to be a challenging job for me. As a responsible driver, I will be careful about the passengers in my bus and traffic on roads,” said Ms. Saritha.

Mr. Rai congratulated the DTC for its “bold decision” of appointing the first woman driver and said it would encourage more women to come forward and join the DTC’s fleet of buses. “We will explore scope for making appointments of more women drivers in future,” he said.

The DTC authorities have especially helped Ms. Saritha in getting a public service vehicle badge from the Transport Department, which was mandatory for her duty as a driver on the city roads.

30-year-old Venkadarath Saritha from Telangana took up auto rickshaw driving 10 years ago

to support her family

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