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Home > City Resources > Automotive > Women Petrol Bunk
Nanda Service Station on the Kavadiguda road, sells petrol and diesel just like any other petrol bunk. But there is one distinguishing feature, it recruits women also. They efficiently dicharge duties like filling the tanks with petrol/diesel, collecting cash and other related activities. You might be surprised to know that there are eight women working in this filling station out of 12 workers. The petrol bunk is owned by Mrs. Neelam Dhawan, former principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya.

They are second to noneOut of the eight women workers, two are cashiers, four helpers, one supervisor and one accountant. Anuradha, the supervisor of the bunk was the first woman to join here as a helper. "When I was searching for a suitable job in February 2000, I heard about the vacancies at this petrol bunk. I approached Mrs. Dhawan, she immediately recruited me as a helper. Since then, I am working hard, for which I've been promoted as supervisor now," said Anuradha. Pinky, another girl is working as a part time accountant. She has just finished her first year B.Com. "I am studying in Wesly College. After attending college in the afternoon I straight away come over here and update the accounts," says Pinky.

Mrs. Neelam DhawanThe owner of the petrol pump Mrs. Neelam Dhawan, on the back drop of the business says,"We originally belong to Delhi. When my brother Second Leiutenant Padamnath, sacrified his life during 1965 Indo-Pak war, the Government of India allotted this petrol bunk to our family in the martyrs quota. My family shifted to Hyderabad from Delhi, only to take care of this bunk . Till 1980 my father looked after the pump, after his demise, my mother looked after the business. But now, as she has became old, I took voluntary retirement from my service and shouldered the responsibilities here," she explained.

Anuradha, Supervisor "During a meeting with Mr. Ramana, Chief Deputy Manager of Indian Oil Corporation,he casually raised a question that being a woman, why don't you recruit some women in your petrol bunk and help the womenfolk? Those words touched my heart and I decided to recruit some women. Immediately, I put up a board in front of our petrol bunk inviting lady helpers to work with us," said Mrs. Dhawan.

A woman cashier at the bunkOne can think that employing women in the petrol bunk itself is inviting additional problems. Nobody can rule out this, as the petrol bunk work is an open air job and there is no restriction of entry. "In the beginning there were some problems. Some customers passed remarks at women employees. The male workers who were already working with us at that time, found it difficult to adjust with the change. After some time everything was set right and there are no problems here now," said Mrs. Dhawan."Working with male colleagues in no way troublesome for us," said Savitri, a helper in the bunk. "When compared to the job of the women bus conductors, our job is the coolest one," Anuradha responded aggressively.

All the women working here belong to the lower middle class families and have studied up to the tenth standard. They said that after joining here their level of confidence has increased enormously. Now they are ready to take up any kind of task in any type of job. "With this part time job, I am able to pay my college fee and maintain my daily expenses without depending on my parents," Pinky said proudly. All the women working in the bunk are happy and comfortable with their jobs and facilities provided to them by the management. "All these women work here from 10 am to 6pm. I am paying minimum of Rs. 1800 as a startup salary as per labour laws. I also provide the uniform and yearly bonus at the time of Diwali festival," said
Mrs. Dhawan.

Going about her job"After recruiting women, the sales have increased manifold. Not because of female attraction. But due to politeness and honesty shown by the women workers. Unlike men, they work sincerely and never take leave without prior permission," said Mrs. Dhawan. "As women have to attend their families, it is not possible for them to come early in the morning and stay late in the nights," said Mrs. Dhawan when asked about the reasons for retaining some men employees still. Every day one or two women come to me in search of a job. As I could not employ more people, I am advising them to go to other petrol bunks. But they are interested to work here only, probably they might have felt secure here as I am (a lady) running the business."

Address: Nanda Service Station, Indian Oil Dealer, Kavadiguda, Secuderabad - 500 003 Phones: 753 4139/6412
- Mohan G Jagan
Photographs by Srinivas Setty
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