After losing her husband she took to supporting her family by taking his job
In a profession that is considered to be male dominated and certainly not a woman’s job, Manju Devi is a porter who undauntedly works as hard and as efficiently as any other porter and is the first woman porter of North-West Railways. After she lost her husband 10 years ago she has been the sole provider for her family, which includes three teenage children.
She was actively encouraged by her mother Mohini, who helped her get over the psychological hurdles and discard the family disputes. Manju acquired the porter license no. 15 which belonged to her deceased husband Mahadev, and took to the demanding task of heaving luggage of passengers at the Jaipur Railway Station.
She was initially told by the authorities that it would be a difficult task for her as she would be the only female porter, but she was persistant and was eventually given the badge number, she said.
She took some time to understand the realities of her job and she designed her own uniform for the job as well. Nowadays, you can see her toiling and working multiple shifts, running around the station in her red kurta and whit salwar to support the needs of her family. “I weighed 30 kgs and the passengers’ luggage was also 30 kgs but it was nowhere near the burden of feeding three children,” Devi narrates.
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