A trailblazing career: Indian Rail icon Surekha Yadav is now Vande Bharat's 1st woman loco pilot
Women's struggle for respect, power, and, most indispensably, space, has been quite a long and arduous path. Our female ancestors would be sitting and watching us, probably in a peaceful repose now, observing how their efforts have reaped results.
It would be hard to believe for the people of yore seeing women pilots or women train drivers, among other titles, in a male-dominated world, but we're proud to see the strides the puissance of the gender have created today.
In one such an instance, Surekha Yadav, who became India's first woman train driver in 1988, thus becoming an icon of inspiration for women throughout, has once again claimed a commendable feat.
An indelible journey
Hailing from Maharashtra, 57-year-old Surekha has now become the first female loco pilot of the Vande Bharat Express. The woman has made the country proud innumerable times, by collecting prestigious accolades, by continuously working harder than most, by smashing patriarchal norms.
Surekha Yadav joined Indian Railways as an assistant driver back in 1986 after completing her training. After this, she went on to get inducted as a full-fledged driver, initially steering a goods train in 1998 and then followed by passenger trains.
In 2021, she also drove an all women-staffed Mumbai-Lucknow special train on International Women's Day.
On March 13, Surekha operated the newly-introduced and semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express and covered a 450-km long journey from Solapur to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminal. She received a hero’s welcome and widespread praises.