Jajpur: Breaking into a male bastion, at least 15 women, who not long ago earned their living as casual labourers, have become tractor drivers in Kalinganagar of Jajpur district through their grit and determination, a report said Monday.
Battling the social challenges, these women have proved they could go to any extent to prove their worth. The homemakers who never dreamt of crossing the threshold of their homes have now become tractor drivers proving that their physical limitations are no barrier when it comes to fulfilling their dream.
These women were daily-wagers engaged by contractors in Jindal Stainless Steel plant in Kalinganagar as helpers, gardeners and in casual hands engaging in unloading goods from trucks.
They found themselves close to their dream when the plant head Mohan Lal and human resources head Ratan Shah met them and motivated them into taking up driving as a career. They conducted an interview on light motor vehicle driving and selected 26 of them.
The selected women then underwent training at a state government approved training centre. Among them, 15 passed the test and were selected to drive tractors, vans and road cleaning vehicles.
Later, the plant authorities organised a function where Lal and Shah felicitated the 15 women with certificates and citations. They were identified as Reenarani Sahu, Phulmani Hansda, Reena Marandi, Sulochana Mohant, Phulmani Murmu, Kajal Kisku, Sukanti Singh, Lakshmi Hembram, Sulochana Tarai, Dolly Munda, Pinki Munda, Raimani Gagrai, Saraswati Derai, Nandini Sahu, Mili Jamunda
Pinki Munda of Dhabalgiri, Jogisahi said she and her two minor daughters were left alone to fend for themselves after the death of her husband seven years back. It was difficult for her to arrange two square meals a day by working as a daily wager when she got work as gardener in Jindal plant.
However, that earning too fell short to feed her family of three. She now feels proud that she could take up the task and achieve success. She and other women in the village decided to take up the job to ensure steady income to support their families.
Dolly Munda of Sadakgula said she took up driving to support her family as her parents are unable to go out and support the studies of her two brothers. Raimani Gagrai of Rampas said she took up the job to cover the expenses of her son’s education