BENGALURU: How does it feel to be the only woman among 1,550 employees working to build Namma Metro’s Majestic Interchange Station?
“Good, really good,” gushes V J Manjushree, a junior civil engineer, working in the Planning and Billing section. She is an employee of Coastal Projects Limited, a contractor for Metro.
Based at the site for six months now, the 24-year-old said working for Metro has proved to be an invaluable experience.
Manjushree’s role largely involves monitoring each day’s progress at the site and planning for the following month along with her team. The team makes frequent visits to the sprawling worksite for a first-hand understanding of work.
An above-average student, Manjushree graduated from Sri Venkateshwara College of Engineering, Yelahanka, in 2011. She must have had some idea of a male-dominated work life even while pursuing her studies. Of the 45 students in her batch, only 10 were girls.
Most of the employees based at the Majestic site work for various contractors — 250 of them are engineers, supervisors and contractors, and 1,300 are labourers.
Does it feel intimidating to be working in such a male-dominated workplace? “Not at all. My colleagues are supportive and there is no discrimination,” she says.
Manjushree lauds her Project Manager, Raju Chambanna, for the unstinted support he offers.
Manjushree said she had earlier worked on residential and commercial projects for a couple of private firms after her graduation.
“Working for something like Namma Metro is a different kind of exposure,” she said of the huge learning experience this has been.
A few concessions have been given to her to make her stay in the workplace comfortable.
Manjushree alone is permitted to use the toilet and room reserved for the company’s vice-president.
She is also permitted to make fewer site visits compared to her counterparts. She works from 9.30 am to 6 pm while the others work from 8 am to 8 pm.
We Are Proud of Her, Say Parents
Manjushree, who stays at Hessarghatta Main Road, commutes more than 20 km by bus daily. Her parents Jagadeesh and Bhagya are proud of their daughter’s achievements.
Their older daughter is married and a homemaker. “My parents keep advising me to fully concentrate on my career,” she says.
“Do not feel you are the only girl around. Mingle with everyone,” is her mother’s valuable advice.