Earlier in August, an East Coast Railway (ECoR) goods train left the Visakhapatnam marshalling yard while UH Lakshmi displayed her green flag, swelling with pride. And why not? In a historic move, Lakshmi has become the first woman train guard of the Waltair Division. Lakshmi undertook her first trip to Rayagada in Odisha.
After the demise of her husband, who was also a railwayman, Lakshmi was appointed a trains clerk on compassionate grounds in 2011, The Hans India reported. She worked her way up and was able to qualify for the post of goods guard. After passing the departmental examination, Lakshmi underwent training at the Zonal Railway Institute at Sini in Jharkhand from November last year.
The life of a train guard is not easy. According a report published in The Hindu, the tail-end workplace turns extremely humid in summers and leaks during monsoons. There are concerns over the lack of water facility for a guard, who often has to stay alone with just a torch for long hours, making it one of the toughest jobs in the Indian Railways.