The widow forced to carry luggage for a living: Maya, the only female porter in Ludhiana, carries bags for a few rupees to pay for her son, 12
- The first female railway porter from Punjab had to work after the loss of her husband
- Maya, 40, says she needs to work to educate her son
It was never the idea of a Maya Devi career to drag heavy stuff through the rush hour for eight hours a day. However, after her husband's sudden and tragic death, she had no choice.
Maya, 40, lost her husband, Ram Kumar, a licensed railway porter at the train station in Ludhiana, in April this year. Her world has never been the same since.
& # 39; Maybe this is my destiny that I have to start over from where my husband Ram Kumar left, & # 39; she said stoically.
Maya, 40, is the only female porter in her city
Hard physical work like this is not what Maya had imagined
Porters must undergo severe physical tests before they are licensed
Maya was married to Ram Kumar 13 years ago in the village of Redau in the Sonepat district of Haryana. They have since lived in a house owned by Ram Kumar near the Jagraon Bridge. The couple has a son, Guarav, who is 12 years old.
& # 39; In March 2012, our accident struck our family. My husband fell ill and died in April.
& # 39; The first shock of my husband's death destroyed my world.
& # 39; But then I gathered myself and decided to go on with life, not for myself, but for the sake of my son for whom my husband had made many dreams, & # 39; she said.
Maya wants her son to study hard and achieve great things. If doing hard physical work and long hours on Ludhiana's bustling platforms means that her son is capable of building a future for herself, then all the suffering of the past six months will not have been in vain.
Maya is pictured here with one of her many hundreds of customers at the station
Some women apply on the platform of the station, but Maya is the only one who has accepted a job at Ludhiana
Maya is determined to continue working to give her son an education
& # 39; I have no idea what fate means to me, but if I can train my son and keep him going, I will have the satisfaction of being a good mother and also having my husband's wishes fulfilled & # 39; she said.
Although Maya only started working as a porter in November, every initial fear she had when approaching passengers who came out of trains has now turned into visible self-confidence.
However, there is no doubt that the sight of a woman with heavy luggage for regular passengers remains a stranger.
Being a porter for luggage is not an easy job to get. it requires a powerful physical test to get an official license.
Senior division commercial manager MM Singh said there was no gender bias for the recruitment of women as porters.
For whatever reason, women do not usually show up for a job.
& # 39; During fitness tests that were conducted several months ago at several major train stations to recruit licensed porters, quite a few women had appeared and some had cleaned up the fitness test. But none of them appeared at the time of the final recruitment, & he said.
Mr. Singh said there was no practice of giving jobs to relatives on compassionate grounds after the death of a porter.
Maya should pass the same tests and recruitment procedures as everyone else.
& # 39; The railroad officials must have done the same to recruit Maya instead of her husband, & # 39; Singh added.
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