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Laxmi Jadhav, a 42-year-old from Mumbai, is making headlines all around the country by breaking the stereotypes and becoming the first female driver of Mumbai's BEST bus.
Laxmi is about to embark on a new chapter in her life this week as a bus driver for the BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport Corporation (BEST). She has been assigned the task of transporting passengers between the Dharavi bus station and South Mumbai.
Her first "iconic" journey as a BEST bus driver will be flagged off by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray.
According to recent news reports, in 2016, Jadhav became the first woman to be granted an autorickshaw permit by the Wadala RTO. She also has hands-on experience in driving luxury cars like BMW and Mercedes, which she acquired while managing odd jobs with transportation agencies earlier.
In one of the interviews with a leading media firm, Laxmi stated that she has always loved driving and in her accomplishments, she is thankful for her husband's unwavering support.
She also stated that she has always desired a steady income and a provident fund to take care of her family and live a comfortable life. She received her licence in 2019 after enrolling in Dindoshi depot to learn how to drive BEST buses. BEST has approximately 90 female conductors.
Laxmi has two sons who are studying engineering and business at the graduate level.
The role of bus drivers in BEST buses, which started operating in the city in 1947, is mostly reserved for and dominated by men. Compared to older times, things are somewhat changing now for Mumbai's century-old civic body, where women are given equal job opportunities as men. According to recent reports, BEST is training two more female bus drivers who will be taking their positions soon as BEST bus drivers.
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