In Western countries, women driving heavy vehicles like truck or other heavy machines is a common sight but, here in India it is a rare sight. We have featured several Indian women drivers on our website who are expert in driving heavy vehicles. Some women even manage driving schools. Here we have one such report about a woman who drives a lorry. Why is she in the news? Well, she just drove a cargo lorry from Kerala to Kashmir. 40 year old Jelaja Ratheesh from Kerala is the woman who drove the cargo lorry to her dream destination, Kashmir.
The videos have been shared on Puthettu Travel Vlog YouTube channel. The video started from Jelaja’s home in Kottayam. She travelled to Ernakulam in her Ford Endeavour. From Ernakulam district’s Perumbavoor, she drove the lorry. She had to deliver plywoods to Pune and from Pune she took a load of Onions to Kashmir. Jelaja was quite excited about the trip as she was going to witness places that she has seen only in videos and pictures so far. She started her journey from Kerala and travelled through Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab.
Jelaja can be heard saying in the video that people were surprised to see a woman driver behind the wheels of a cargo truck. Jelaja while talking to The Indian Express said she was always passionate about driving but circumstances were not favourable. Jelaja only learnt driving after she got married. “I have been to Mumbai twice on lorry with my husband. As we got an order for Pune, we also enquired about loads to Kashmir from there. The journey was not expensive as we were carrying loads and sleeping inside the vehicle. At times, we cooked meals in the lorry.”
Jelaja was accompanied by her husband Ratheesh and relative Aneesh in the lorry. Jelaja mentions that journey was not tiresome as they have a bed inside the cabin unlike cars. She mentioned that her visit to Gulmarg was one of the most memorable moments of her journey as she could not believe that she had reached. Only problem she faced while driving through different states were dirty public toilets. Jaleja, her husband Ratheesh and their relative Aneesh started their journey in the Bharat Benz lorry with a load of plywood from Haryana and unloaded it in Bangalore, Karnataka. She then got a load of sugar from Mysore, Karnataka and got in unloaded in Kerala which completed her trip.
Jelaja mentioned that each time someone spotted her behind the wheels, she saw them getting surprised as they were not expecting it. It gave her more confidence and became fuel for her future trips. Jelaja is now planning a trip in her truck to explore the Eastern parts of the country. She also wants to visit New Delhi once in her lorry. As mentioned above, Jelaja is not the first woman to drive a heavy vehicle in India. Earlier we had a college student from Kerala who had license to drive vehicle transporting hazardous material like petrol and diesel. She was driving the petrol tanker which her father was driving for years.