Pratiksha Das just completed her mechanical engineering degree from Thakur College in Malad and is the only female BEST driver in the city.
Heavy four-wheelers like trucks and buses have thought to be domain meant only for men but this Mumbai girl proved it wrong! Pratiksha Das is probably the only woman in the city, who can navigate her way through pothole-filled roads on a BEST public bus. The 24-year-old just completed her mechanical engineering degree from Thakur College in Malad and is the only female BEST driver in the city. According to a statement by BEST official, she learned driving at BEST training school.
Expressing her passion for heavy vehicles she stated, “It is something I’ve wanted to master for the last six years. But my love for heavy vehicles is not new. I started off with bikes, then larger cars and now, I can drive buses and trucks. And yes it feels good. After completing my engineering degree, I was planning to become an RTO officer. For that, I needed a license in heavy vehicles as it is compulsory. Since I had wanted to learn to drive a bus, it was perfect.”
Pratiksha Das recollected her first training drill with BEST drivers who were all doubtful about her driving skill. She said that people hurled remarks at her like ‘Yeh ladki Chala Paaygi Ke Nahi?’, to some even mocking her height stating she was too short to ride a bus. According to the Times of India, talking about the challenges she faced as a BEST driver, she stated, “People use to stop and turn when they saw a young woman behind the staring wheel. Keeping my focus clear, I ignored the stares.” Besides this, changing lanes and turning was pretty challenging for her, but she managed to acquire the requisite skills in no time.
Pratiksha Das proved everyone wrong with the ease with which she drove the bus. She even said that women who set their mind on something can achieve anything they desire, it’s all about will and determination. She stated, “I dreamt and here I am. In fact, anyone can achieve their goals, they just have to set their minds to it.” The brave driver now plans on a bike trip to Ladakh. She said, “It’s every biker’s delight to ride that route. It’ a mixed group and guess what, a lady is going to lead the gang!”