Mostly, one sees men working as a luggage porters in railway stations. However, at Katni Railway Station in Madhya Pradesh, one will be extremely surprised to come across a woman coolie, Sandhya Marawi.
Hailing from Kundam village in the Jabalpur district in Madhya Pradesh, 30-year-old Sandhya’s husband had an untimely death in 2016. Since her husband was the sole breadwinner in the family, she began facing difficulties in running the house. She then decided to start working as a coolie in the railway station to take care of her three children.
However, Sandhya got this job at Katni Railway Station which is 250 kilometres away from her home. She makes this long journey to work on a daily basis- she first goes to Jabalpur from her village, and then travels to Katni. She has requested the officers from the railway department to get her transferred to Jabalpur from Katni. However, she has not received any response so far.
Sandhya has two sons, and one daughter- eight-year old Sahil, six-year-old Harshit, and four-year-old Payal. She is single-handedly taking care of her three children, and her mother-in-law. She wants to educate her children so that they can make it big in life.
Due to poor financial circumstances, they were not able to manage the day-to-day food at times. It saddened Sandhya to see her children in such a bad state, and therefore, she decided to make this career choice. She is currently the only woman luggage porter among the total of 40 porters at the station.
She has broken all the stereotypes, and is working in a male-dominated profession to earn her livelihood. Though it were the circumstances that led her to make this career choice, she does not regret it.
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