India’s first “motorwoman”

Surekha Yadav

In her canary-yellow sari and gold earrings, with a pair of thin-framed spectacles perched on her nose, Surekha Yadav could be any woman stepping down from the train at Mumbai’s main railway station. But the 44-year-old mother-of-two stands out from the crowds on the platforms at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) as she doesn’t just travel on the trains — she drives them. Yadav was the first female passenger train driver on Mumbai’s Central Railways and has become a standard-bearer for women in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

Apart from being India’s first “motorwoman”, Yadav has also been part of the attempt to curb another problem: complaints about sexual harassment — or “eve-teasing” as it is known in India.

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