New Delhi: Mumtaz M Kazi, Asia’s first woman diesel engine driver, On International Women’s Day, received the “Nari Shakti Puraskar” by President Pranab Mukherjee. Ms Kazi was among the top seven women to get this honour from the President.
The 45-year-old is presently a motorwoman piloting suburban locals trains of Central Railway on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Thane section – which is also India’s first and most congested railway route now.
Ms Kazi’s journey has not been easy. She broke into a male bastion 25 years ago. She has been driving different types of trains since she was 20 years old and has been an inspirational figure for millions of women in the country.
Hailing from an orthodox Muslim family, when she first applied for a railway job in 1989, she faced opposition from her father, Allarakhu Ismail Kathawala, who is a senior railway employee.
After persuasion from friends and family, he relented and let her pursue her dream job.
On personal front, Ms Kazi is married to Maqsood Kazi of Nandurbar who is an electrical engineer by profession. She has two children.
In 1995, her name featured in LIMCA Book of Records as first lady diesel locomotive driver. In the year 2015, she was awarded with Railways General Manager Award.