Kerala: 25-year-old to be second woman in state to drive tanker lorries transporting petroleum products

Barkath, who has already secured a hazardous driving license, is currently waiting for the clearance of a pass from the Chalissery police station.

Published: 05th December 2021 12:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th December 2021 09:57 AM   |  A+A-

Barkath Nisha in a Taurus lorry

Barkath Nisha in a Taurus lorry

Express News Service

PALAKKAD: Outdated gender roles notwithstanding, it was her passion for motor vehicles that propelled 25-year-old Barkath Nisha to lay her hands on the steering wheels of heavy vehicles. Soon, she will be only the second woman in Kerala to drive around tanker lorries transporting petroleum products, following in the footsteps of Thrissur Kandassankadavu native Delisha Davis.

Barkath, who has already secured a hazardous driving license, is currently waiting for the clearance of a pass from the Chalissery police station.

"I have to send this pass to an OMC (oil marketing company) in Kochi to get permission to load and transport petroleum products," said Barkath, who hails from Kilivalankunnu of Nagalassery panchayat.

"I began riding my elder brother's motorcycle at the age of 14. Even when I was a kid, I would randomly put the vehicle on the stand and try to kickstart it. I never let go of an opportunity to drive, be it a bike, autorickshaw, car or lorry. Finally, on November 10 this year, my younger brother Nishad and I secured the license to transport hazardous materials after completing our training in Ernakulam," she told TNIE.

Currently, Barkath drives Taurus lorries for short distances along with Nishad. "But my aim is to drive tanker lorries. With the help of an official at the OMC, I will soon be a regular on the national highway," said a confident Barkath.

The 25-year-old's father, the late Abdul Hameed, was a daily wager. After his demise, her mother Hafzath struggled a lot to raise their four children, said Barkath, who is the couple's third child.

"It was with the assistance of the local panchayat that we built a house for Rs 35,000. My mother, Nishad, and my five-year-old daughter, Aysha Nassar, stay with me there. My elder brother and sister are now married and living separately," she said.

As expected, Barkath had to initially face resistance from her family against pursuing driving as a profession.

"We are a conservative household, but I was able to win them over gradually," said Barkath, who has separated from her husband.

"Now my mother takes care of my child when I go out for duty," she said.

There were many people who helped Barkath on the way to realizing her dreams.

"It was Ashraf, the owner of Myna constructions, and driver Randheep who handed me a Taurus for the first time. Shaji of Lallalam Travels also trusted me with his vehicles. Similarly, understanding my difficulty to make ends meet, Calicut Driving School proprietor Dhananjayan and Ever Safe Training Centre's Nandagopal gave me huge discounts. I will always be indebted to these people," she added.


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