INDIA

Indore gets first female bus driver; here’s everything you need to know

Indore gets first female bus driver; here’s everything you need to know, the vie

Ritu Narwale drove passengers between Rajeev Gandhi Square and Niranjanpur Square in the city on the Bus Rapid Transit System on Thursday

, the vie

Ritu Narwale from Indore operated the Pink i-bus, a special bus for female passengers, for the first time. News18

Steering towards women empowerment, Indore has received the first woman bus driver in the state of Madhya Pradesh, who will drive the pink city bus service.

35-year-old Ritu Narwale drove passengers between Rajeev Gandhi Square and Niranjanpur Square in the city on the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) on Thursday, 2 September. She was offered a test drive between 3 am and 5 am and given the go-ahead for the first drive when she navigated the bus perfectly.

The Atal Indore City Transport Service Limited (AICTL) had initiated pink buses to encourage more women to use public transport. However, the buses were driven by men due to the unavailability of women drivers.

For Narwale, the position is a dream come true. She mentioned that she wanted to be a heavy vehicle driver since she was a kid, but the road ahead wasn’t easy. Initially, her own father opposed her ambitions, saying that women did not pursue driving as a profession. However, Narwale managed to convince him to let her follow her dream.

After getting her driving license when she was 28 years old, Narwale began chauffeuring for hotels. Later she saw an advertisement for women drivers for passenger buses and immediately applied.

When she began training at 3 am, her father was the one to drive her to the assigned location. As she gained confidence in her abilities, Narwale requested the authorities “to allow me to drive the bus”.

People were thrilled to see a woman driver at the helm of the bus. AICTSL CEO Sandeep Soni added that the organisation “will train and hire two or three more women drivers for pink buses”.

This is not the first time Indore had tried to ensure equality behind the wheels. A non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the city had started an all-women cab service, Sakha Cabs, in 2019.

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