At the Jaipur Railway Station, Manju Devi stands apart from others in her fraternity, holding the distinction of being the first woman coolie of the North-est Railways, a profession that is considered a male bastion. She lost her husband 10 years ago so she has taken the demanding task of hauling luggage of passengers after-acquired her deceased husband Mahadev’s portal license no. 15.
Devi said,” Authorities initially told me that there are no women porters and hence it would be difficult for me. But I persisted and eventually given the badge number.”
The sole breadwinner for her three children, Devi’s efforts were recognised by the President earlier this year with the inclusion among 112 women achievers felicitated for setting a milestone in their respective fields.
Photo Courtesy: Hindustan Times