Pune women become expert electricians

Pune, Oct.16 (ANI): A group of about 150 enterprising women are being trained by the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (MSETCL) in Pune in maintaining the power transmission lines.

Even as scores of women engineers have managed the tasks related to generation, transmission and distribution of power, certain outdoor technical jobs such as repairing extra high voltage supply lines, maintaining supply lines towers and machinery at sub-stations remained male-bastion. But, it may not remain like that anymore.

A week after Priti Kumari created history by becoming the maiden eve to pilot an electrical multiple unit (EMU) train in the suburban railway services of Western Railway at Mumbai, about 150 lineswomen being trained by the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (MSETCL) for maintaining the transmission system in Pune.

While recruiting 500 linesmen in February this year, the MSECTL reserved 33 percent of the posts for the technically qualified women.

Women candidates, who had done electrician or wireman courses from government-run industrial training institutes (ITIS), responded and the brightest among them were short-listed for a proper training.

"The classes are held between 9.45 p.m. and 5.30 p.m.. These are the training hours for these women where we have classroom sessions, practical sessions, which take place outside and the women are given field training. We teach them how to use equipments and how they need to be maintained," said Shashikant Bakre, Chief Executive Engineer, in-charge of Training, MSETCL.

This is the first ever batch of women being trained in such complicated and dangerous outdoor technical work, he further informed.

These women were first trained at the MSETCL'S training centre at Jejuri, about 40 kilometres from Pune. They are enthusiastic about work.

"We are very excited about our work and this is the first time that women have been admitted to do such work. We have got this job because of the course we studied at ITI (Industrial Training Institute) I am feeling great and we, the women, are no way lesser than men in any field now. I have completed seven months over here. We will work harder than men and produce good work," said Dipali Kirpone, one of the newly trained lineswoman.

The training centre has so far trained 120 lineswomen in four batches and they have already been assigned postings in places such as Jejuri, Akola, Bableshwar, Koradi, Kolhapur and Aurangabad.

"All of us are taught here basic knowledge of all that is required to do such sort of work. It enables us to take decisions on what needs to be done next and because of this learning we are able to work over here," said Shabana Gujale, a trained lineswoman.

At first, a month long residential training course was conducted at the Jejuri training centre, where measures were taken to improve the fitness level of these women besides reading and understanding technical aspects, particularly in outdoor environs. By Shivaji Saluke (ANI)

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