Pratiksha Das, a 24-year-old girl who holds a Mechanical Engineering degree has become the first woman to get her hands on the steering wheel of the BEST bus. Her this achievement comes from her sheer love for all the big and heavy vehicles and the strong wish to learn how to drive them as well.
Her decision to drive a bus, however, hasn’t come out of the blue. After completing her graduation from Thakur College, Mumbai, Pratiksha wished of becoming an RTO Officer. In the pursuit of this, she was compulsorily required to hold a heavy license vehicle. This just tailored with her desire of learning to drive a heavy vehicle.
When the BEST bus trainers found that they had to impart driving knowledge to a woman, they all looked skeptical. She was subjected to many questions like “you are a woman, will you be able to drive?”, “do you have the strength required to drive a bus?”, “you are short in height, how will you be able to do it? (referring to her height which is only 5’4) ”
Quiet practical enough, Pratiksha tells the sources that to drive a bus, one needs to have strength as turning the wheel isn’t easy. It requires strength. Pratiksha tells the sources that during the initial stages of the training, one must not halt after starting the vehicle and get into the first gear. She continues by saying that her trainers wanted to see if she had the ability to keep the bus running and not let it stop. Now, can anyone come in the way of strong determination? Absolutely not. The trainers were at last satisfied with her. The very next day, Pratiksha was allowed to drive for 16 kilometres on the Eastern Express Highway. As the days passed by, Pratiksha won her trainers’ confidence after which she was permitted to take the bus in traffic conditions as well.
While on the roads, Pratiksha shares with the sources, the sights she witnessed. She mentions that when the pedestrians and passers-by saw a woman on the driver’s seat, they stopped to take a clear look. Pratiksha Das indeed has turned quite a few heads by breaking a stereotype that only men are suited to drive heavy vehicles like a bus or truck.
When asked by the sources about her future goals, she mentioned her wish of learning to drive an inter-state luxury bus as well as learn to fly an aeroplane. She states that she intends on joining flying school in Mumbai soon after she arranges for the funds.
Let’s wish her all the good luck.