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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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Ramjan ali, a driver of Chuadanga delux, made history second before his death by giving the taste of new life to 40 passengers

If the memory does not betray, we can recall the much talked accident of Tarek and Mishuk in few months earlier. Tarek was a rising talented film director of different world rather than so called commercial one who acclaimed and recognized internationally. And Mishuk was a very familiar face in the arena of Journalism in Bangladesh. No doubt, Bangladesh had lost two potential futures of different trends with a mistake of a driver. In that occasion, the killer vehicle was a bus running under the name of Chuadanga delux. The incident was happened in savar, near Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh. And the driver of the killer vehicle was Jomir, a residence of Chuadanga, some 200 km away from Dhaka. This was the incident that we wanted to forget and this was the past that we don’t want to see in future. But the following example is an incident we want to see again and again in such circumstances.

“Ramjan Ali (Bengali: রমজান আলী)*** (55), a driver of a bus of Chuadanga delux, sacrifices his life in an attempt of saving 40 passengers. Despite Ramjan Ali experiences heart attack in a running vehicle in an area called Suti para in the Chuadanga-Dhaka high way in between Kalampur-Dhamrai in the early morning of Saturday (14 July 2012), he had taken the speed into own control and fallen into death. The bus was in a speed of 80 km per hour. Despite the victim of heart attack, he tried with all of his effort to control the speed, succeeded, and died.

The bus was started at 9.30 pm from chuadanga to Dhaka. The doulotdiar-paturia ghat (wharf) was full of traffic jam. So they had to wait for long in queue to get ferry to cross Padma River. This took dawn to cross the whart. Ramjan Ali faced heart attack at around 3 AM. He was rolled down to his seat with spasm with little speed. But he had taken the vehicle under his control enough to be safe with die-heart effort. This is surprising but true that he had driven the bus between two large trees to puddle with utmost skill just second before his death by giving the taste of new life to 40 passengers.

***Ramjan Ali was the father of 5 daughters. He had been driving for 35 years. He was the founding couch driver of chuadanga delux. He had faced heart attack 3 years back. A ring was put in his bosom. He had to take Nitroglicerin inhaler that he kept with him all the time. But he forgot to take the inhaler in his last trip from house. And he was unable to buy this in the road due to long jam in the wharf. He was buried at DokkhinKhan graveyard of Doulotdiar at 10 PM in 14th July 2012.

Ramjan Ali_ChuadangaDelux_Driver

Ramjan Ali_ChuadangaDelux_Driver

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Subol Dutta rescued the life of passengers with the cost of his own life even after realising his sickness while driving.

Subol Dutta rescued the life of passengers with the cost of his own life even after realising his sickness while driving…

The incident is very small. We have been passing such activities out of site everyday. Even we are overlooking such sacrifice in our rush hour with huge work load on our head. But have we ever gone into deep of our thought that such noble activities should not be unnoticed. This incident will be depicted here without painting any color or any extra words.

Subol Dutta is a professional bus driver riding commercial transport bus in the road of Faridpur. He was riding bus as usual in a day of this week. He felt seek and suffered from heart attack suddenly. But he was dedicated to his responsibility even in the very last moment of his life. He stopped the bus in the region of Modhukhali of Faridpur District by ignoring his heart attack and saved the life of 50+ passengers of his bus and laid-down on the engine cover and embarrassed death. Subol rescued the life of 50+ passengers with the cost of his own life even after realizing his sickness.

He left his widowed wife Rina Dutta, Elder daughter Susoma Dutta (18), Older daughter Srabony Dutta (8) and one son Sajib Dutta (13).

The only earning person of the family had gone by leaving the whole family into the sea of sorrow. The state and the society has something to do for this tragic hero.

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