Pooja Devi is breaking stereotypes as she became the Kathua district’s first woman bus driver. The 30-year-old shared that she hails from a poor family and always dreamed of driving heavy vehicles. Her father owns the land and raises crops therefore could not provide quality education to his children.
She continued to say that the road to becoming a bus driver was faced with challenges. The biggest obstacle was convincing her parents and her husband as they regarded the profession as bad and did not want her to pursue it as a career. However, she remained steadfast and fought to persuade those close to her to allow her to take the job.
Devi was taught by her uncle Rajinder Singh and her driving skills come from her mother’s side of the family. Before driving buses she used to ferry passengers on taxi, taking them from one location to another. Slowly and gradually she moved on to maneuvering heavy vehicles something she had been dreaming of since she was a child.
Pooja is married and has a total of three beautiful children. She has two sons and a daughter. The youngest son is in grade 2 and comes along with his mum for the ride since he can’t stay home alone and there is no one to look after him. Her daughter is the eldest and studies in grade 10 while her other son is in grade 7.
The Bus Union is in full support of Pooja and has always encouraged. They have welcomed her with open arms and have a lot of confidence in her and her abilities.
A lot of appreciation has poured in from the locals and ministers as well. One fellow commented, “Though it has another grim side of compulsion to look on of course this is the finest example of women empowerment and breaking of Taboo by such a confident woman.”
Pooja’s accomplishment is worth praising and looked at as a source of motivation for other females to follow in her footsteps and fulfill their wishes and desires.