DNA webdesk

Updated: Jan 2, 2021, 10:50 AM IST

Challenging gender roles and expectations, a woman from the Kathua district has become the first woman bus driver in Jammu andKashmir.

Pooja Devi drove a bus, ferrying passengers on the Jammu-Kathua route, for the first time last week. The pictures of her on the job soon turned viral and they were widely shared on social media.

Breaking stereotypes: Meet Pooja Devi, Jammu and Kashmir's first female bus driver
Breaking stereotypes: Meet Pooja Devi, Jammu and Kashmir's first female bus driver

Devi was universally praised on social media for breaking the gender barrier and carving a career for herself in a male-dominated occupation.

Devi has three children and her son accompanied her on her first passenger bus driving expedition on the Jammu-Kathua bus route.

In her interview with a TV news channel, Devi said that she had always wanted to become a driver for a bus. She shared how she struggled to get the occupation of her choice and the kind of resistance she had to face from her family as well as the society in realising her dream.

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Devi, who is in her thirties, said that she learned to drive from her maternal uncle, Rajinder Singh. After learning to drive, she applied for a license so that she could drive heavy vehicles.

Devi also shared her regrets for not getting a proper education as she came from a poor family.

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"I always wanted to become a bus or truck driver. I used to see myself driving heavy vehicles in my dreams during my childhood. I belong to a very poor family. My father was a farmer. My family wasn't able to educate me, but I decided to take up driving as a career," Devi said in an interview.

Breaking stereotypes: Meet Pooja Devi, Jammu and Kashmir's first female bus driver
Breaking stereotypes: Meet Pooja Devi, Jammu and Kashmir's first female bus driver