New Delhi: After driving autorickshaws and BMWs, Telangana native Vankadarath Saritha on Friday became the first woman to hit the Delhi roads as a DTC driver.
30-year-old Saritha, who completed a 28-day long training session, has been posted at Sarojni Nagar depot and will be put in day-time duty at a route in the central part of the city, a DTC official said.
The Delhi government feels the move will inspire and encourage other women to choose driving as a career.
"This is very encouraging step and just a beginning to explore more avenues to involve women in new fields," Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said.
According to officials, the government had published newspaper advertisements inviting willing women candidates. In response, seven applications were received.
Out of these, five candidates turned up who were directed for medical examination by the DTC Medical Board. Only Saritha was found medically fit, the DTC official said.
Saritha was then directed to DTC Training School for imparting four week job-training as she is already having HTV driving license issued by RTA-Nalgonda, he added.
Saritha has earlier driven luxury sedan while working as a private chauffeur in south Delhi.
"I am youngest of five sisters and my family was facing financial crunch so I started working. I have also driven auto rickshaw in Telangana, but for better job prospects I shifted to Delhi and started driving cars. I used to drive BMW but I always wanted a government job," Saritha said.
Hoping to send across the message to other women that they can do any job that a man can, Saritha says she wanted to drive a bus to upend gender roles.
"There will be many challenges but I am sure with my training and dedication I will be able to deal with it. I feel more women should come out in open and choose driving as their profession," Saritha said.