Empowering Women In Rail: Breaking Stereotypes & Embracing Challenges; Meet Anupama Patil, Goods Train Loco Pilot

Empowering Women In Rail: Breaking Stereotypes & Embracing Challenges; Meet Anupama Patil, Goods Train Loco Pilot

Breaking down stereotypes, Anupama Patil emphasizes that despite lingering perceptions, women should not be deterred from pursuing a career in train driving.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Friday, March 08, 2024, 10:07 AM IST
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Empowering Women In Rail: Breaking Stereotypes & Embracing Challenges; Meet Anupama Patil, Goods Train Loco Pilot |

Mumbai: In the ever-evolving landscape of the railway industry, the traditional notion of train driving as a male-dominated profession is gradually giving way to inclusivity and diversity. Anupama Patil, one of the female goods train loco pilot with Central Railway, stands as a testament to this transformative shift.

Breaking down stereotypes, Patil emphasizes that despite lingering perceptions, women should not be deterred from pursuing a career in train driving. The rail industry is experiencing a notable change in attitudes, fostering a more inclusive environment.

As a self-professed lover of trains, Patil acknowledges the childlike thrill associated with the railways. Contrary to the misconceptions surrounding the profession, being a train driver offers a unique sense of exhilaration, blending the adventure of travel with the freedom that comes from operating a colossal feat of engineering.

With over a decade of experience in the rail industry, Patil dispels common myths surrounding train drivers, particularly female ones. She recounts instances where outdated beliefs were shattered, such as being told, “I didn’t even think women were allowed to drive trains!”

Highlighting the challenges and skill required for the job, Patil notes that becoming a train driver is far from an easy, unskilled endeavor. It demands hard work, dedication, and a commitment to safety and precision.

Anupama Patil's Day At Work

A day in the life of a train driver, according to Patil, is anything but predictable. From checking safety notices to preparing the train for departure, each day brings new challenges. The constant need for vigilance – monitoring signals, maintaining speed, and navigating stations – requires a level of attentiveness that is both demanding and rewarding.

When discussing the unique challenges faced by female freight train drivers, Patil draws attention to the irregular schedules and unpredictable halts. Unlike their counterparts on mail/express trains, freight train drivers often find themselves without the convenience of scheduled breaks, highlighting the vulnerability they face.

Byculla residents Anupama's journey began in 2007 when she joined Central Railway in Group-D under the sports quota. As a long-distance runner, she represented the Central Railway in various inter-zonal sports meets, showcasing her dedication and athletic prowess. In 2009, her team secured second place for Central Railways in a cross-country race, highlighting her commitment to both her sport and her workplace.

Her relentless pursuit of excellence paid off when she cleared a department examination, earning a promotion to assistant loco pilot in 2013. In 2022, Anupama achieved another milestone in her career as she was promoted to the position of loco pilot, entrusted with the responsibility of driving goods trains.

Despite the demanding nature of her job, Anupama remains undeterred. She embraces challenges, including night duties and operating goods trains, with unwavering determination. When questioned about her colleagues, she acknowledges their cooperation but expresses her preference for forging her own path and facing challenges head-on.

Anupama's story extends beyond her professional achievements; she is a science graduate from a Goregaon ( Mumbai ) based college and the first member of her family to join the railway. Balancing her family life with her demanding career, she credits her mother-in-law and other family members for their crucial support.

Anupama's Message For Youngsters

In a heartfelt message to youngsters, Anupama urges them to pursue their passions without hesitation. She emphasizes the importance of being bold and building one's internal support system. Drawing from her own experiences, she encourages women not to quit without trying, reminding them that historical changes often come with resistance.

Anupama's journey is a beacon of inspiration for aspiring individuals, especially women, in breaking down barriers and pursuing their dreams. Her success underscores the belief that with capability, knowledge, and unwavering efforts, anyone can overcome challenges and achieve greatness.

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