Maya, the only female porter in Ludhiana, carries bags for a few rupees to pay her 12-year-old son

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The widow has to carry luggage for a living: Maya, the only female porter in Ludhiana, carries bags for a few rupees to pay her son, 12

  • Punjab’s first female railway porter had to work after losing her husband
  • Maya, 40, says she has to work to give her son an education

Lugging heavy luggage through rush hour crowds for eight hours a day was never Maya Devi’s idea of ​​a career. However, after her husband’s sudden and tragic death, she had no choice.

Maya, 40, lost her husband, Ram Kumar, a licensed railway porter at Ludhiana railway station, in April this year. Her world has never been the same since.

“Maybe it’s my destiny that I have to start over where my husband Ram Kumar left off,” she said stoically.

Maya, 40, is the only female doorman in her town

Maya, 40, is the only female doorman in her town

Hard physical work like this is not what Maya expected for herself Hard physical work like this is not what Maya expected for herself

Hard physical work like this is not what Maya expected for herself

Carriers must pass rigorous physical testing before being licensed Carriers must pass rigorous physical testing before being licensed

Carriers must pass rigorous physical testing before being licensed

Maya was married to Ram Kumar 13 years ago in Redau village of Sonepat district of Haryana, and since then they lived in a house owned by Ram Kumar near Jagraon bridge. The couple has a son, Guarav, who is 12 years old.

‘In March 2012, disaster struck our family. My husband got sick and died in April.

“The initial shock of my husband’s death shattered my world.

“But then I gathered myself and decided to get on with life, not for myself but for the sake of my son for whom my husband had had many dreams,” she said.

Maya wants her son to study hard and achieve great things. If her son can build a future for himself through hard physical work and long hours on the busy platforms of Ludhiana, then all the suffering of the past six months will not have been in vain.

Maya is pictured here with one of her many hundreds of customers at the station Maya is pictured here with one of her many hundreds of customers at the station

Maya is pictured here with one of her many hundreds of customers at the station

Some women apply on the platform of the station, but Maya is the only one who accepted a job at Ludhiana Some women apply on the platform of the station, but Maya is the only one who accepted a job at Ludhiana

Some women apply on the platform of the station, but Maya is the only one who accepted a job at Ludhiana

Maya is determined to keep working to give her son an education Maya is determined to keep working to give her son an education

Maya is determined to keep working to give her son an education

“I have no idea what fate has in store for me, but if I can raise my son and make him stand on his feet, I will have the satisfaction of being a good mother and also having my husband’s wishes fulfilled,” she said.

Although Maya only started working as a porter in November, her initial fear of approaching disembarking passengers has now turned into a visible sense of confidence.

However, there is no doubt that the sight of a woman with heavy luggage remains strange to ordinary passengers.

Being a luggage carrier is not an easy job. it requires a vigorous physical test to be officially licensed.

Senior commercial manager of the division MM Singh said there was no gender bias in recruiting women as porters.

As a rule, for whatever reason, women don’t come forward for jobs.

“During fitness tests conducted a few months ago at several major railway stations for the recruitment of certified porters, quite a few women had appeared and some of them had passed the fitness test. But none of them showed up at the time of final recruitment,” he said.

Mr Singh said it was not customary to give the jobs to relatives on the grounds of sympathy after a doorman’s death.

Maya would have to pass the same tests and recruitment processes as everyone else.

“The railway officials must have done the same to recruit Maya instead of her husband,” Singh added.

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