Women have been in the driver's seat for a long time now. An increasing number of women, mostly in the bigger cities, have taken to driving like ducks to water.
The adventurous ones have become taxi drivers, monorail drivers, pilots and metro drivers. Now meet Mamta Patil - the city's first and only woman driver employed by the state government.
Driving has always been a passion with this young woman. She tried her hand at a regular office job, but soon tired of it. She then worked as a driver with 4C Cabs. This was when she spotted an ad seeking car drivers for MHADA. Mamta cleared all her tests and exams with panache and bagged the job, becoming the only female driver in the state government drivers' cadre. That was three years ago.
Mamta leaves home by 7 am, but there is no assured time that she returns home. Driving MHADA officials from their residences to offices, taking them for meetings and site visits take up a large part of her working hours. Taking care of the vehicle is also part of her job profile.
Mamta avers that a driving career is a viable and satisfying option available to city women. However, in the three years that she has been around, she has not seen a single female driver being recruited into the force. The distinction of being the only female driver in the government is a nice feeling, she says, but she could do with some company now.