Meet Pooja Devi who on Thursday, drove a private bus carrying passengers from Kathua to Jammu, becoming the first woman bus driver in J&K.
This mother of two who comes from a remote village, Sandhar-Basohli in Kathua district, shared that she loves driving. She has been driving cars since she was a teenager and always wanted to drive heavy vehicles.
Pooja who is in her late 30s commented that:
My family did not support me initially. But, I am not educated enough to choose any other job, and this suits me. I used to drive a taxi to learn how to drive commercial vehicles. I also drove a truck in Jammu. My dream has finally come true.
She also mentioned that she wanted to shatter the stereotype that only men can drive passenger buses.
She wanted to inspire other women who are not supported by their families to follow their dreams.
Pooja feels very grateful for the transporter to give her this job as the Jammu-Kathua-Pathankot highway experiences heavy traffic footfall making it difficult for drivers to commute.
But since this was her dream so she doesn't mind it at all.
Her male colleagues have been more than welcoming and she usually brushes off all the stares and comments, she gets from people.
Women like Pooja are breaking taboos, one bus driver at a time.