Ground Report | New Delhi: Muslim woman bus driver; Nazina Begum, a 33-year-old niqab-wearing Muslim woman from Cuddapah district in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district, has taken up the profession of a bus driver to get a government job.
Nazina Begum said that she has become the first Muslim woman to drive a bus in Andhra Pradesh with the support of her husband Sheikh Muhammad Khawaja Ilyas. “When I drive a bus on the road, everyone looks at me in amazement. I think they find it amazing to drive a burqa-clad woman.”
Nazina has done her Master in English and also holds a B.Ed degree. Her husband Sheikh Muhammad Khwaja Ilyas is working as a medical representative. The couple has a son and two twin daughters. She also worked as a lecturer in English at SV Degree College, Cuddapah. She is struggling with the financial problems of the family. Government and the permanent job is the only way for their children’s bright future.
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She enrolled in a 32-day bus driving course organized by the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) the same month so that he could obtain a heavy vehicle driving license and get a job as a driver in the same department.
“My only goal is to get a government job. I will continue my efforts. Women have 33% reservation in APSRTC. In other words, if this department needs 100 drivers and conductors tomorrow, then at least 33 of these jobs will be given to women.
Nazina Begum enrolled herself in SRTC’s Driving School for 32-day training classes for which she paid Rs. 24,000 fees. Nazina is the only woman in the batch of 16 trainees in the school.
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Nazina Begum has a 13-year-old son and two eight-year-old twin daughters. Like every mother, she wants her three children to get a good education. “I have taught children in private degree colleges in my district for two years. I quit teaching because my children were young and needed maternal care.
“I applied for the job of government teacher twice but I could not get the job because of the tough competition. Now, if I get a job as a bus driver, I can get a quick promotion based on my educational qualifications.
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