Pune: The FPJ Highlights Stories Of Woman Coolie, Driver, Bus Conductor, Police Officer On International Women's Day

Pune: The FPJ Highlights Stories Of Woman Coolie, Driver, Bus Conductor, Police Officer On International Women's Day

On International Women's Day, The Free Press Journal conducted interviews with women who serve as the primary earners for their families, employed in a diverse range of professions. These roles included positions such as police officers, auto drivers, bus conductors, and more. The aim was to gather valuable insights into their life perspectives.

Ankit ShuklaUpdated: Thursday, March 07, 2024, 07:03 PM IST
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On International Women's Day, The Free Press Journal conducted interviews with women who serve as the primary earners for their families, employed in a diverse range of professions. These roles included positions such as police officers, auto drivers, bus conductors, and more. The aim was to gather valuable insights into their life perspectives.

Sunita Buchade (Sanitation Worker)

Sunita Buchade (42), a resident of Katraj, has been working as a sanitation worker for the past 18 years following the death of her husband. "I was illiterate and lacked skills. However, for the sake of my children's survival, I had to find a way. Unfortunately, both my children are blind since childhood. Despite their adulthood, they rely entirely on me. I collect garbage from 300 houses daily, segregate and sell various types of waste to earn money for our survival. I am saving money for better treatment for both of my children," she shared.

Vanita Waghire (Bus Conductor)

Vanita Waghire (47), also from Katraj, has been employed as a bus conductor at Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPM) since 2014, following her husband's demise in a road accident. "Balancing work hours between duty and home is challenging but achievable. My workday starts at 6am and ends at 4pm, so I have to wake up early to manage. Initially, I was apprehensive about dealing with passengers, but later I grew to enjoy interacting with them and handling various situations," she explained.

Poonam Gaikwad (Auto Driver)

Poonam Gaikwad (33), a resident of Bibwewadi, is the sole breadwinner for her family. Since 2015, she has been working as an auto-rickshaw driver. "I don't believe in depending on anyone else. Women are capable of anything. I have a daughter studying in the 11th standard, and I will work hard to fulfill all her needs. I aspire to see her become a police officer or a journalist," she expressed.

Sunita Pathak (Coolie)

Sunita Pathak (33) works as a coolie at Chinchwad Railway Station. She stated, "The challenge of raising three young children and providing meals for them haunted me, but I persevered. It is quite challenging for women to carry heavy luggage compared to men. I hope to see my children become Railway Police officers."

Anita Gosavi (Ambulance Driver)

Anita Gosavi (44), a resident of Walkewadi, serves as an ambulance driver. "I began my journey during the Covid pandemic when my husband fell ill and was unable to work, leaving all responsibilities on my shoulders. During the pandemic, I decided to assist others by driving an ambulance, especially picking up accident victims from railway tracks. Nothing is impossible; I have covered 700km in a single day, transporting the deceased. I am passionate about helping people and society," she shared.

Smartana Patil (Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 2)

Smartana Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 2, reflected on her journey, stating, "During my academic years, I was drawn to administration but was unsure if I would reach this stage. I found motivation after witnessing female officers in higher positions in various departments while I was in Odisha. Sometimes, there's hardly any time for personal life, but things become manageable when your passion is your choice. I have served in various departments such as traffic, CID, and administrative zones. Despite facing challenges during festivals, we manage because we celebrate more with the public in the field. Our society has undergone significant changes; women are working and carving out their place on every platform. Women should not perceive themselves as weaker than others. Women are synonymous with change. It's essential to recognise your willpower and work towards achieving your goals."

Shraddha Kumbhojkar (HOD, History Department, Savitribai Phule Pune University)

Shraddha Kumbhojkar, HOD of the History Department at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), states, "Women are under-represented in histories. Their contribution to the changes that our society underwent is, if at all, restricted to the children they gave birth to or the suffering they went through. They are worshipped as goddesses or pitied as selfless caregivers. Women’s Day, for me, is an annual reminder to remove these cobwebs of pity and worship. Women need to be seen as simply humans."

"An example from history - In March 1894, 400 women workers in Jacob Textile Mill in Mumbai stopped work and asked for fair compensation for their work. This was an unheard-of event in the 19th century. However, historians have seldom referred to it. They write about child marriages and Sati and such other injustices, but the women who actually fought for justice escape the attention of the media and historians. I think that Women’s Day should be an opportunity for us to try and recover such movements for justice that women undertook as just humans. Not as goddesses, nor as selfless caregivers, but just as humans."

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