There is nothing that can come across women’s path from achieving great things. Women are destined to go for maximums as ‘sky is the limit’ for them and the story of Yogita Raghuvanshi will substantiate our statements for sure.
She will be remembered as the first woman Truck Driver in India, an occupation which only men are familiar with. Needless to say, Yogita proved that gender is not a big deal. People are really shell-shocked to see a woman in forties doing this job for she is believed to be the only qualified truck driver in the country.
She deftly manoeuvred a colossal 14-wheeler truck with its 30 tonne-cargo through Palakkad’s English Church Road. In fact, she had driven a liquor shipment all the way from Bhopal to a Kerala State Beverages Corporation godown.
She is also a qualified lawyer, who chose the challenging and risky life on the highways to take care of her family. She and her huge truck have been shuttling across the country through all kinds of terrain since 2000.
“I certainly am not doing this job because of a resolve to break stereotypes. I am behind this wheel owing to my circumstances. So please don’t make out as if I am from another world,” she said. This is also her second visit to Kerala as she and her truck were in Kochi in the previous year.
Switching between cities across the nation with her truck, her job is a bit risky to some extent, Yogita still manages to drive the big trucks only to look after her children- Yashika and Yashwin who are undergraduate students. “Relatively, south Indian highways are safer than those in north India,” she said.
Digging a bit deep about Yogita’s journey, she grew up in Nandurbar in Maharashtra with four siblings, holding degrees in Commerce and Law. Her days and nights behind the wheel on the national highways were the result of an ‘unhappy arranged marriage’ in 1991 as she was married off to a Bhopal man who claimed to be a lawyer.
“His family had claimed that he was a lawyer practising in the Bhopal High Court. But of course, that was not the case,” Yogita recalled.
Yogita’s husband passed away in a road accident 19 years ago and it was after his demise that she made up his mind to be a truck driver and to look after her kids. “If I had opted to be junior to some lawyer and enter the legal profession, I would have got only a pittance for the many initial years. But I learnt that driving trucks meant instant wages,” said Yogita.