Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

Redefining Gender Equality, Two Telangana Women Become First Female 'Linemen'

Babburi Sirisha and Vaankudothu Bharathi had to go to the High Court in 2019 alleging Telangana Southern Power Distribution Corporation Limited of gender bias

Telangana Today

In a profession that is dominated by men, two women in Telangana are creating history by joining the Telangana electricity distribution company as junior powerline workers.

It wasn’t easy for the two to defy the societal norms. Babburi Sirisha and Vaankudothu Bharathi had to go to the High Court in 2019 alleging TSSPDCL (Telangana Southern Power Distribution Corporation Limited) of gender bias, TOI reported.

They urged the authorities to give them a fair chance to apply for the post of ‘linemen’ that has been hitherto reserved for men.   

As per the earlier rules for filling vacancies at Telangana Southern Power Distribution Corporation Limited (TSSPDCL) – women were prohibited from applying to posts like linemen since such jobs required heavy-duty, rigorous activities. 

Despite that, the two forced the authorities to lift the ban after their year-long legal battle. 

Sirisha, who completed ITI in Electrician trade, along with eight other women then applied for the said post. 

The next step of the exam is a physical Pole Test which is mandatory to ace for securing the position. Both the women managed to climb up the pole in less than a minute, thus becoming the first two line women of Telangana. 

Following instructions from the Court, TSSPDCL has issued appointment letters to both the women for the post as they cleared all the qualifying parameters.

Speaking to Telangana Today, Shirisha revealed it was her uncle who encouraged her to get the training for the electrician trade.

“We worked hard to get here. We will ensure we are referred to as line women,” said Shirisha.

“Now there is nothing that can hold us back. We will prove to everyone that women are no less in any job they do,” said Bharathi adding that her husband would train her to ace the pole climbing test every day for two hours. “I hope men in the (power) department were as supportive of women as he is.”