After the huge success and overwhelming response of seven consecutive Aadhi Aabadi Awards, we are now organizing it again on
25 Nov, 2017 in a larger scale with broader perspective
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She was born in Satara in Maharashtra on 2 September 1965. She had initial schooling at Saint Paul Convent High School, Satara. After completion of schooling, she took admission for vocation training and then studied for a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Government Polytechnic at Karad in the Satara district of western Maharashtra. She wanted to continue her college studies to get graduate degrees of Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in mathematics and Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) to become a teacher, but a job opportunity in the Indian Railways put an end to her further studies.
She is a female locopilot (train driver) of the Indian Railways in India. She became India's first female train driver in 1988. She drove the first "Ladies Special" local train for Central Railways when it was first introduced in the four metro cities by Mamata Banerjee the then Railway Minister, in April 2000. A momentous event in her career was on 8 March 2011, on the International Women's Day, when she became Asia's first woman train driver to drive the Deccan Queen from Pune to CST, through difficult but scenic topography, where she was greeted by the then Mayor of Mumbai Shraddha Jadhav, at CST, the headquarter of Central Railway zone. It was Surekha's dream-come-true as she drove one of the prestigious trains of the Central Railway, which carries the female of name; the Mumbai-Pune Railway Pravasi Sangh (association) strongly supported her to run this train. However, a commonly heard comment on her driving is that “Women don't drive railway engines”.
She is dedicated to run trains safely with full presence of mind, as the risks faced could be in the form of breakdowns due to mechanical problems, chain-pulling, rasta rokos (a form of protest in India to stop trains or block roads), and people or animals crossing the track suddenly, which need right thinking, prompt and quick action. She has no record of train accidents. She has so far driven many types of trains such as local suburban trains, ghat trains with twin engines (hill section train on the Western Ghat), goods and mail express trains, and she works for ten hours a day. Her ambition is to drive a long distance passenger train. She has also participated in activities to check eve-teasing. In 1991, Surekha acted in a television serial titled "Hum Bhi Kisise Kum Nahi (we are second to none)". She has received adulation from several organizations for her unique role as a woman train driver. She has given interviews several times on national and international TV channels.