Hyderabad: It’s a pitched battle for a place on the pole, that a bunch of feisty Telangana women are fighting these days. Unwilling to let gender dictate their profession, the state’s first ever batch of young junior lineman aspirants – who climb an electrical pole with as much as ease as they whip up a meal – have vowed to put their industrial training, as electricians, to good use.

While on Wednesday, they found some relief in the high order’s diktat that ordered Transco to take their ‘pole climbing test’, the women say they’ll be at peace only once the appointment letters arrive. They have already cleared the written test.

“Women today are flying planes and driving buses. Why can’t they climb poles and fix electrical lines? And it isn’t like we don’t have the technical knowledge required for the job,” said 20-year-old Babburi Shirisha, from Siddipet’s Chebarthi hamlet. She is among the handful who’ve dragged the electricity service providers to court for banning women from applying to lineman posts claiming they aren’t suited for the job.

“My uncle has trained me to climb a pole…if he thinks I am capable, why can’t other men accept it? Let them test me, if they want,” said ITI certified aspirant.

Another aspirant, V Bharathi, has a similar appeal. And standing with her in this fight is her 34-year-old husband, Mohan S Maloth who, in fact, takes great pride in his wife being stronger than him – even while working on the farm. “Much like the men, even I have worked very hard to train. I left my two kids – two and five years old – back in the village and stayed in Warangal so that I could prepare. It’ll be extremely unfair if I am not even given a chance to prove myself,” said the 22-year-old.

Every day, both these women spend hours climbing new electrical poles, in their vicinity.

“The job of a lineman is more about maintaining and repairing electrical lines. In involves equal risk for men and women. So, if a woman is qualified, I see no reason why she should not be recruited,” said a local electricity department from Greenlands.

Courtesy Times of India

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