WOMEN PETROL PUMP
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.
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.
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,"
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.
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,"
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