S Satyavathi, city-based only woman loco pilot in South Central Railway, has an enviable record of 13 years at the controls. She was selected through the Railway Recruitment Board as assistant loco pilot in 1999 from Bangalore, and promoted as independent loco pilot in 2005. The job is taxing and many women do not come forward for this job. Satyavathi shared with The Hans India her aims on the occasion of International Women’s Day. She wants to prove that women are equally good in any field that is dominated by males anywhere in India or across the globe. She strongly believes that the right action and the will to work hard would help women achieve their ambition to get any desired results.
“I was determined to become a loco pilot, though there was cut-throat competition. However, my sincere efforts, commitment and dedication gave me a good result. I got distinction, more than 90% in the all the tests. I was the only woman to be selected in the year 1999. The other women who passed in examinations did not do well in other tests. Appointment as an Asst Loco Pilot has given me a good boost, and it was the turning point in my life,” she shares. After joining the railways, she did B Tech, Electronics and Communication Engineering (part-time course) from JNTU, in 2010. She considers it as yet another milestone in her career.
She said: “I am independently running the MMTS from Secunderabad to Lingampally Division. I need to work for 10 to 12 hours per day. I drive alone and there is only one guard in the rear compartment to give signals and messages through walkie talkie.
I cannot use my cell while driving. When I drive the train I abide by the caution order, which specifies the details of the speed and operational mechanism guide lines and other important information, which is imperative for efficient, safe and secure travel of the train and passenger,” she adds.
Safety of passengers is her top priority, as, on any given day, there are more than 2,000 passengers during peak hours.
“My aim is safety and security of my passengers. As loco pilot, we have to be always be alert, watchful, and the highest degree of care should be taken to prevent any untoward incidents. A cautious approach has to be taken during local disturbances in the city or state due to political bandhs etc. Our job is not an easy task, but we need to be bold smart and extraordinarily alert for the safety of passengers. My superiors helped me a lot in my career,” Satyavathi says. Her next goal is to drive superfast trains such as Rajadhani Express which touches the speed of 120 kilometre per hour. New age bullet trains are also on her wish list.