Mumbai: Women welders of Central Railway's Matunga workshop shine in ‘men’s jobs’

Mumbai: Women welders of Central Railway's Matunga workshop shine in ‘men’s jobs’

At the Matunga workshop, they are responsible for the repair of battery boxes in railway coaches.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 08:29 AM IST
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Naresh Lalwani in a conversation with women welders | Sourced photo

At Central Railway’s (CR) workshop in Matunga, two teams of women, Ahilya and Durga, are doing jobs that were initially considered for men.

On March 20, General Manager CR Naresh Lalwani visited Matunga Carriage Workshop to inspect the Heavy Corrosion Repair (HCR) shop. During his visit, Lalwani interacted with both teams, which are responsible for the repair of battery boxes in both AC and non-AC railway coaches.

Naresh Lalwani met Team Ahilya and Durga at workshop

“The teams, each consisting of four welders, are currently involved in overhauling of battery boxes, which ranges from their repair to complete fabrication,” a CR official said. The members briefly discussed their work with Lalwani.

“The complete gamut of their operation is undertaken at the battery box section of the workshop, where they independently work on the cutting of corroded components, fitting, welding and painting. Team Ahilya is led by Rajubai Talekar, the first woman welder of the Matunga workshop appointed in 1990. Talekar took the initiative of learning the complex activity of welding and has since inspired other women to learn the ropes of the trade. She has been working as a welder for the past 20 years,” the official said.

The women behind Teams Ahilya and Durga

The names of the women involved in the arduous and technically complicated task of welding are Talekar, Suchita Shete, Swapnali Thorat and Snehal Sawardekar of Team Ahilya; and Ranjana Wayale, Pooja Singh, Vidya Jagtap and Sangeeta Tripathi of Team Durga.

The teams’ inception took place on March 8, and ever since they have been solely responsible towards their work. They serve as a constant reminder of the strength of will and the fortitude of women, the official added.

Lalwani also visited the Chemical and Metallurgical Lab where he was briefed about the role of the staff in the safe running of trains by its in-charge, Anil Mahendru.

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