KOCHI: Breaking the glass ceiling has been the hallmark of the Kochi Metro rail project in its existence span. The transgender community was extended a friendly arm. Now, when the Metro hits the track full time, seven loco-pilots out of 39 will be women.
After completing the three-month training at Bengaluru, they have been appointed to operate the metro service between Aluva and Palarivattom.
They are: Hima C and Ramya Das (Kollam), Anju Asokan (Cherthala), Anju T K (Thiruvananthapuram), Nithi K G (Thrissur), Vandana V S (Perumbavoor) and Gopika S S (Kollam). Understandably, they were overjoyed.
“We are thrilled to be part of the Metro. We never imagined such an opportunity will knock at our door. This is my first job, so it’s all the more thrilling,” said Vandana, Station Controller-cum-Train Operator (SCCTO).
She along with others received simulator training in Bengaluru. “The shift from simulator to actual train was smooth. We are thrilled as we have become loco pilots,” said 23-year-old Gopika. They have completed the 400-km operation, the minimum requirement to work in the Kochi Metro.
They said Kochi Metro is equipped with the state-of-the-art technology, including the Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) system. They said the CBTC system will be introduced in the next phase. “Now, the train from Aluva to Palarivattom takes nearly an hour. This will come down as more trains operate,” said Gopika.