Three years ago, Mumtaz M Kazi from Mumbai became the first woman in Asia to drive a diesel engine train. She recently received the 'Nari Shakti' award for this year from President Dr Pranab Mukherjee for her commitment and services to the Indian Railways. She is one among the top seven women who received this prestigious award.
Officially an employee of the Central Railways, this 45-year-old woman has been driving the engines of various types of trains and is currently spearheading local trains along the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminal (CST) and Thane route, the most congested railway route as of now.
Coming from an orthodox Muslim family, she has been on this job for almost 25 years now. Mumtaz graduated from Seth Anandilal Podar High School in Santacruz in 1989 and applied for a job in the railways. This humble woman, who has been inspiring millions of people, faced disapproval from her father, Allarakhu Ismail Kathwala, who was also an employee in the railways. Fortunately for her, a few relatives and railway officials convinced him to allow Mumtaz to chase her dreams.
Evidently, she has inspired millions of people and has won various awards and honours over all these years of service and clearly, her family is very proud of what she has achieved. Mumtaz is married to Maqsood Kazi, an electrical engineer, and they have a 14-year-old son, Tausif, and 11-year-old daughter, Fateen.
She made her way to the Limca Book of World Records in 1995 as the first lady locomotive driver. She was even awarded the Railways General Manager Award in 2015.