Breaking yet more stereotypes and barriers is Pratiksha Das, Mumbai’s first and ONLY female Best bus driver! You heard that right. Here’s how she achieved this almost impossible task.
Why A Bus Driver?
When you hear about Pratiksha Das becoming the first and only female bus driver of the iconic Mumbai Best buses, you wonder why did she pick something that involves such strength and heavy loading? We say why not? Since ages, men have been the torchbearers of strength and masculinity and the go-to persons for anything mechanical and requiring brute force.
But little did we know, women are equally equipped to do any heavy lifting work that men can. The assumption that we are weaker because biology says so is in fact flawed. Just look at Pratiksha Das, driving that huge ass bus all by her self like a boss! The sooner we unlearn our gendered assumptions, more women can and girls can get the same opportunities and be treated equally to men.
“Who said women can’t be on the driving seat? I dreamt and here I am. In fact, anyone can achieve their goals, they just have to set their minds to it,” said a jubilant Pratiksha in an interview with The Times of India. She just graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Thakur College, Malad, Mumbai.
Pratiksha Das’ Story
Just ask Pratiksha Das, who has forever harboured a love towards all things automobiles, especially the heavier vehicles who in an interview with The Times of India, she said, “It is something I’ve wanted to master for the last six years. But my love for heavy vehicles is not new. I started off with bikes, then larger cars and now, I can drive buses and trucks. And yes it feels good.” So cool right?
So how did this happen? How did Pratiksha become a Best Bus Driver and the only female one the city of Mumbai has ever seen? “After completing my engineering degree, I was planning to become an RTO officer. For that, I needed a license in heavy vehicles as it is compulsory. Since I had wanted to learn to drive a bus, it was perfect. In fact, I want to drive various vehicles on the road. I started with my mama’s bike when I was in 8th grade in my village. Even he was surprised, how I learned driving within 2 days,” she told TOI.
Even her training was full of nervous male officials who though this 24-year-old girl could not manoeuvre a 6-tonne bus. But she proved them all wrong despite her small frame, standing tall at just 5’4 inches, she got her license soon and is a proud Best bus driver.
Flying aeroplanes! Yes, Pratiksha is a force to be reckoned with and cannot be stopped by any obstacles. After gaining her license to drive Best buses, she now plans to save her salary to be able to afford flying classes and ultimately become a Pilot as well. Currently, she is planning to go for a Ladakh bike trip, “It’s every biker’s delight to ride that route. It’ a mixed group and guess what, a lady is going to lead the gang!” she told TOI.
Keep rocking, Pratiksha!