Mumtaz Kazi Drives Local Trains in Asia – And It Wasn’t Easy Getting Where She Is

In the male dominated society today, it’s always believed that certain jobs can only be done by a particular gender and driving is one of them. But as it’s said,’ Where there is a will, there is a way’.

Mumtaz M.Kazi, is one of odds, who became the first woman in Asia to drive a diesel engine train and banged it in a male-dominated profession 25 years ago.

Mumtaz has been driving different types of trains since the age of 20. She drives local trains through India’s first and most congested railway route – the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Thane section.

Born in an orthodox Muslim family, when she first applied for a railway job in 1989, she faced opposition from her father, who is a senior railway employee. Thankfully, he got convinced later on and believed in her dreams.

Recently, on International Women’s day, she has been awarded the prestigious ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ (Women Empowerment Award) by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.

She was even featured in LIMCA Book of Records In 1995 as first lady diesel locomotive driver and in the year 2015, she was awarded with Railways General Manager Award.

The 45-year-old is presently a motor woman driving suburban locals trains of Central Railway in Mumbai. Incidentally, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Thane section, where she drives the train on, is also India’s first and most congested railway route now.

Mumtaz, is truly an inspiration for all the women’s who are binded by many ways. She has broken the stereotypes of the gender based jobs and also the typical muslim women image. May her story break many barriers ahead!

Written by Jenifer Sayyed

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Dr. Jenifer Sayyed is a medical doctor by profession, with an interest in religious views.