TIRUPATI: Sheer passion to drive heavy vehicles has made 23-year-old Poornima from Tirupati, the youngest woman in the State, to secure a heavy motor driving licence. Poornima had completed her 40-day training at the second batch of heavy motor driving school organised at the Alipiri bus depot by the APSRTC. After completing her training, she applied for heavy motor driving licence at the Tirupati RTO and successfully cleared her LLR test and a test drive and received her licence making her the youngest girl in the State to secure a licence for driving heavy vehicles.
In 2020, Poornima graduated from Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam with BTech Mechanical. She also completed an ITI diploma with specialisation in Mechanical stream. She also used to actively participate in co-curricular activities and served as an NCC cadet at the SV Government Polytechnic. Poornima is also a trained classical dancer.
When asked what prompted her to enrol at the heavy motor driving school, which is dominated by male drivers, she said, “Women are stronger than men in all aspects. Apart from excelling in academics, we also occupied key positions in various fields. We are capable of driving buses, trains and flights too.” Poornima never aspired to become a bus driver. However, it’s her sheer passion to drive buses that made her enrol at the driving school. She can easily drive all the sports bikes and also an auto-rickshaw.
The Covid-19 pandemic had delayed her plans to become a licensed heavy motor vehicle driver. In her first attempt, when she registered for the first batch in 2020, on the second day of her training itself, she
tested positive for coronavirus and she quarantined herself at home. But her will power didn’t deter her from pursuing her passion.
Poornima’s father has always supported her and encouraged her to do what she believes in. She was never asked to act in a certain way or restricted from pursuing her dreams.She’s currently preparing for competitive exams. She aspires to become a motor vehicle inspector or an assistant motor vehicle inspector since she possesses a heavy motor driving licence, which is mandatory for the above posts.
She now wants to learn to drive Volvo and Scania buses. “We don’t have training classes for learning to drive these premium buses in our State. Volvo company provides training at its Bengaluru centre. After the decline in Covid-19 cases, I will enrol at the Volvo training centre and will learn to drive Volvo buses,” she said.
Poornima says though women have excelled almost in all fields but only a few can be seen in the driving field. She appeals to women to break the stereotypes and take up the opportunities available for them.
Congratulating Poornima, APSRTC Regional Manager (Tirupati) T Chengal Reddy said, “More women should participate in the training programmes. Poornima stands as an inspiration to many women.”