In most parts of India, men are tasked with prime responsibilities to run the family as they were considered as the sole breadwinners and you don’t often see many women going to offices as they are forced to sit at home and do household chores. On the contrary, men go to offices, stress a lot and work without seeing clock needles to earn wages either daily, weekly or on a monthly basis.
Women have very limited opportunities to study and were always inferior to men. They never really had the liberty to do what men were doing and hence they became homemakers. However, in the male-dominated society, some women are braving against all odds to become successful in life. When it comes to bus drivers, it reminds us of male bus drivers because they is a majority of them working in this field.
However, in order to inspire and encourage more woman drivers to get on the road in heavy vehicles, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s (BMTC) managing director and former IAS officer C Shikha took a bus for a test drive.
As per the reports, Shikha who was accompanied by the senior officials of the corporation drove the vehicle on the test track at the Hoskote training centre. The move inspired many of them including BMTC staff, who cheered as the woman switched gears.
It was for the first time that Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer took the wheel in a bid to inspect a bus. However, the stunt received mixed reactions on social media.
The video of the MD driving the bus was posted on social media and it became viral so quick. While a lot of people appreciated her for being an inspiration to female drivers in the state, others raised questions about her having the necessary heavy vehicle driving (HVD) license to drive the bus.
Even the Indian National Congress (INC) MLA, Priyank M. Kharge, launched a scathing attack on Shikha for the test drive saying, “We are weird. We criticize BMTC MD for driving a bus in a driving school,but we hail politicos who drive buses jeopardizing lives. Not sure if MLA has HVD license. Even if he did, can he drive a Govt bus?Will Govt book a case?” he asked.
“Wowww super madam ???This brings strength and confidence to all the women !!! “Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path and leave a trial” a Twitter user wrote.
“Yes this is the power of a woman. Yes the perfect driver of the constitution. Congratulations,” another one wrote.
“Does she has driving licence for public bus? If no, then please dont try driving again without required licence. Instead you can just take photo if you want,” one guy wrote.
“Great..but This is not the actual setup..the roads are not this smooth , traffic is crazy . They being in higher authorities should raise general public concerns for better infrastructure which i hope will do more good,” social media user wrote.
“What’s the point of this? What is being achieved here? Bangalore needs 10000 electric buses since last 5 years…. What is the use of all this photo op???,” a netizen wrote.
Defending Shikha’s move, TOI quoted BMTC employee as saying, “The vehicle was driven at the bus training centre… in a controlled environment. No harm was caused to the public,” while adding that Shikha has a learner’s licence for heavy vehicles.
At Volvo’s manufacturing unit in Hoskote, a test driving track is provided for customers to test drive and experience it. Reply to controversy, Shikha told the media that she was driving with the premises of a driving school while also adding that she did not need a license for that, New Indian Express reported.