42-year-old Laxmi Jadhav becomes first woman BEST bus driver
Laxmi Jadhav, a 42-year-old woman and a mother of two from Mulund is all set to become the first woman bus driver of the BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking. Upon the achievement, Laxmi was recently greeted by Lokesh Chandra, General manager of BEST at his office. According to sources, Laxmi has been hired by a lease operator who runs around 400 buses for the BEST.
"My training is almost completed and I will start driving BEST busses in the next 3 or 4 days," Laxmi told FPJ on Wednesday.
Laxmi has two sons, the elder son is pursuing engineering while the younger one is in 12th standard. "I am grateful that I have always received immense support from my family including husband, kids and mother in law," she added.
Laxmi's husband works as a car driver with a private firm. "To meet the education expenses of my sons, I decided to work and got an auto-rickshaw permit in 2016," said Laxmi adding that later she started driving four-wheelers. Two more women drivers are also under training by BEST to operate the buses.
According to sources, the first bus trip of Laxmi is likely to be flagged off by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra tourism and environment minister Aaditya Thackeray on May 28 or 29. Laxmi will drive between the Dharavi bus depot and south Mumbai.
"This is the first time in BEST's history that woman would drive buses in the city," said a BEST official adding that more women are likely to be recruited over time.