HYDERABAD: Padma (name changed), a conductor with the Greater Hyderabad zone of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) has made a mark in a male-dominated professional space. However, relieving herself while on board is still a challenging part of her job. With no toilet facilities available at any of the city bus stops or change-over-points, not just Padma, but all the 1,670 women bus conductors have no choice but to wait till they reach the respective bus depots before using the toilets.
Indeed, this has been one of the biggest complaints of women conductors who work in the TSRTC.
Meanwhile, male drivers and conductors in the corporation have a choice of relieving themselves at any bus stop or open places on the go. “I start my day at 5.30 a.m. and many a times I prefer not to drink water or any other soft drink when I am on board as there are no toilet facilities at several points,” said Padma.
As of result of this unhealthy practice for years now, she has been suffering from several health related issues, including dehydration, skin allergies and regular sickness.
“I learned this practice from my senior and most of my colleagues in the Corporation practice same,” she said. It takes at least 100 minutes for my bus to reach the final destination and other 100 minutes to come back to the depot. If there a traffic jam we can add another 30 minutes on a given route, said another woman conductor seeking anonymity.“Though the corporation gives equal opportunities to bridge the gender gap in employment, however, we have been deprived of basic amenities, such as toilets and drinking water,’’ she said.
Women conductors say that the management and unions have assured them to solve their problem but so far no action has been taken. “We have many issues including our promotions and regulation which are overlooked for years now. But the management can provide at least basic amenities,” said another conductor.Even at several bus stations, there are only toilets for women officers and they cannot be used by conductors.
‘No response from GHMC’
Admitting the fact that woman conductors are facing untold discomfort in the absence of toilets, executive director, Greater Hyderabad zone of TSRTC, A Purushottam Naik said that there are 37 change-over points in the zone and the corporation has requested the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation to construct toilets for women at least in those change-over points. “During a co-ordination meeting in June, we requested the GHMC officials to provide green toilets, but so far there is no response from them,” he said.