Salma Khatun, the first ever female train driver or locomotive master of Bangladesh
Locomotive master is the profession which is not considered as so worthy profession for women in Bangladesh. Not only that, except few exceptions, women are not seen much in driving profession for any type of vehicles in Bangladesh though all the few exceptions of women are doing quite well.
Salma Khatun (Bengali: সালমা খাতুন) is the first female train driver or locomotive master in Bangladesh. This was the story of the year, 2004 when Salma Khatun was joined as ‘Assistant Train Driver’ in Bangladesh Railway as first ever female train driver in Bangladesh.
Salma is the daughter of her late father Belayet Hossain Khan. She is 4th of his parent’s 3 daughters and two sons. She was born in Arjuna village of Bhuapur sub-district in Tangail. His father was died in 2005 which forced her to take the responsibility of their family. So, she decided to apply for the Assistant Locomotive Master (A.L.M) and M.S post in 2006 after completing her honors degree in Zoology from Jagannath University in 2006. Most interestingly, Salma was selected for this A.L.M post though two of her brother also applied for the same position.
Salma started her preliminary training on 8th, March, 2004 as an ‘Assistant Train Driver’ in Dhaka and Chittagong. After completing her training on 15th, February, 2006, she started to work from the Laksham railway junction in Comilla.
The dream day comes on 18th, February, 2006 when Salma started her career by assisting the ‘Train Driver’, Shafiqur Rahman in a passenger train on the journey from Laksham station to Noakhali. However, she had traveled for two days from Dhaka to Joydebpur and from Akhaura to Bhairob during her training in Dhaka as an assistant train driver even before that.
She completed her departmental exams, training and proficiency tests to become an independent driver in 2011. At the first day when her call came to drive a train from Laksham Station to Noakhali, Salma drove a local train with 150 passengers for the first time, from Laksham Station to Noakhali town by driving more than 25 KM. This was a new record for a Bangladeshi woman in the history of her country, Bangladesh.
As part of recognition, she got the award from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as part of observing International Women’s Day on March, 8th, 2015 for her courage in her field in 2015.
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