ferried passengers in a private bus from Kathua to
on Thursday, this mother of two became Jammu and
’s first woman bus driver.
Having grown up in the remote Sandhar-Basohli village in Kathua district, Pooja – who is in her late 30s — said she was passionate about driving and drove cars since she was a teenager, dreaming of driving
“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,” said Pooja, her toddler son lying on the seat behind her. Her daughter is a student of class X.
“Women are flying fighter jets now. I wanted to break the taboo that only men can drive passenger buses. I wanted to send out a message to all women who want to try their hand at challenging jobs and to those whose families would not let them follow their dreams,” she said
Pooja expressed her gratitude to the transporter who gave her the job of driving a passenger bus from Kathua to Jammu after assessing her
“The Jammu-Kathua-Pathankot highway witnesses heavy traffic which makes it a difficult run for any driver. But, I always dreamt of this. The first drive gave me a lot of confidence,” she said.
Stressing that her male colleagues have been welcoming and very helpful, she said that she ignores stares and comments that come with the job. “I know many people turn when they see a woman behind the steering wheel of a heavy vehicle. I keep myself focused on driving and ignore these,” she added.