For 32-year-old Sharmilla, the ongoing strike by the Haryana Roadways, has come as a beacon of hope.
A mother of two, the differently-abled woman became the first woman bus conductor.
The strike, the longest ever seen by the state has forced the government to launch a recruitment drive for drivers and conductors.
Hailing from a village in Rewari district, Sharmilla is one of the two women who were recruited as bus conductors. The other conductor is Nirmala Rani, who joined duty on the Sirsa-Ellenabad route.
In a conversation with The Quint, Sharmilla said,
Both my husband and I were unemployed. We are raising two daughters. I was looking for a job for the last eight to ten years and when I learnt about this vacancy, I applied and got the job.
Sharmilla said that she has a 40 percent disability in one of her legs, but she has never let it affect her.
I am very happy now. I am getting good support and respect from the people. They appreciate what I am doing. I am Haryana's first woman conductor. I three days ago and have learnt most of the things related to ticketing.
The ongoing strike is a result of the government hiring 700 buses from private owners, reports NDTV. This move has enraged the employees of Haryana Roadways. This move will affect 19,000 employees who cater to 12 lakh passengers with a fleet of 4,100 buses, every day.