Many strong and courageous women have shattered gender stereotypes when it comes to driving!
They shut the voice that told them that women can’t drive by becoming a taxi driver, an auto driver, and even a pilot. Even then it was still unbelievable and unconventional for women to drive a heavy vehicle public transport.
But, women like Pratiksha Das are busy breaking that stereotype too!
24-year-old Pratiksha Das has become the only woman in Mumbai to drive a BEST bus and has recently received a license for it.
According to a report by TOI, Pratiksha completed her education in Mechanical Engineering, post which she wanted to become a Regional Transport Office (RTO) officer which required her to be able to drive heavy vehicles.
Not letting off her dream just because she was a girl, she soon found herself learning how to drive a bus from the BEST trainer at Goregaon Bus Depot.
Sharing how she feels after this accomplishment, Pratiksha shared:
“It is something I’ve been wanting to master from the last six years. But my love for heavy vehicles is not new. I started off with bikes, then larger cars, and now I can drive buses and trucks. And yes, it feels good”
But it wasn’t easy and not many believed that she could.
It takes a lot of strength to drive a bus. Steering the wheel alone is a task because it isn’t as smooth as that of a car’s. Recalling how her trainer had concerns about whether she will be able to drive a bus, she shared:
“Yeh ladki chala payegi ke nahi”, the trainers kept on asking.
Her 30-days training spanned from basic to advance levels. On her first day, Pratiksha was expected to roll the bus on first gear within the bus depot without halting. Many were impressed as she was able to do it without difficulty.
And, when she was driving the bus on the Eastern Express Highway for 16kms on her second day, no one could believe it. Recalling how shocked people were to see a woman driving a bus, she shared:
“People turned to stop and stare, but I ignored that and I told myself to concentrate on the driving. Once I am behind the wheel, it’s just me, the bus and the open road.”
But, Pratiksha isn’t stopping here!
Her next stop is to fly an airplane. She is saving money to join the flying school soon. Not only that, but she is also getting ready to lead a bike trip to Ladakh.
Pratiksha is the perfect reply to those who say WOMEN CAN’T DRIVE?”
At I FOR HER, we are celebrating Pratiksha and her achievements because we believe our country needs the kind of badass woman she is!