The Wednesday's incident of a passenger behaving indecently with a KSRTC lady conductor is just a tip of an iceberg. The fair sex who not so long ago made their entry into the male dominated profession have been silently suffering such treatment day in and day out.
When, Express spoke to some of the lady conductors in the backdrop of the Wednesday’s incident, they uncovered several shocking facts. They say men usually take disadvantage of the crowded bus to molest them. More shocking is that the elderly passengers misbehave more than youngsters. Most of them address them singularly while some use vulgar language, which is a nightmare for them.
“Sitting in the last row of the buses, it is common for group of boys to pass cheap comments, watch obscene photos in newspapers and magazines in front of us. As my bus driver was not friendly, he never bothered what I pass through. But, my other colleagues asked me to face the situations boldly. Later, I handled the situation by collecting the tickets before they get into the bus. So that, my problems was solved,” says one of the lady conductor who dint wished to be named.
“Some passengers deliberately stand near the entrance of the bus door, blocking our way. While some others intentionally climb buses with lady conductor. There are many incidents where women have left the job, not revealing the genuine reasons. Left with no other option we do our duty by not taking such incidents seriously as it is a question of our bread and butter,” says another conductor.
“Though we do our service sincerely to eke out our livelihood, people should understand our helplessness and co-operate with us. They should not look down upon us in low esteem,” says Amrutha, lady conductor who is serving from past 8 years.
“When I was conductor on the Hebbal route, a passenger used to wait for hours to board my bus. Intentionally, he used to give me change of Rs 1, Rs 2, one after just to touch my hands. In spite of I warning him, his torture took such an ugly turn that I had to change my bus route itself for some time,” says Veena (name changed) another lady conductor.
KSRTC Divisional Controller (Urban) MN Srinivas said that “women oftenly complain about the misconduct of passengers while issuing change. Unless they give written complaint, no action can be taken.” KSRTC Divisional Controller Naveen (Rural) said that no such complaints has been reported.
While, 98 women conductors are working from both divisions. Since 2005, 16 women have left job (rural), while its 3 from from last three years (urban).