Mirza Salma Beg holds the distinction of being among the youngest females in India to don the role of a ‘Gateman’. She replaced her father as the Gateman at Malhaur station’s level crossing in Lucknow, who was compelled to take voluntarily retirement due to his partial deafness. However, he made sure to teach Salma the nuances of the duty during the one-month training in the heydays of her job.
In a candid interview with Lucknow Explorer, Salma told that she was very apprehensive of the job in the beginning, since she didn’t have any clue on how to do it. Thankfully, with full family support and help from staff members, now she has mastered her responsibilities at work. Despite receiving adverse comments from people around her for doing a man’s job, she prefers concentrating solely on her duty.
The daughter of a partially deaf father and a paralysed mother, Salma maintains a striking balance between her personal and professional life. She wakes up early in the morning and completes all the household work before leaving for the level crossing. After serving her extensive 12-hour duty, she returns at 8 in the night, and still manages to prepare dinner before going for rest.
When we asked her to give a message to the females of Lucknow, she said that one should never underestimate girls. “In fact, the females should never consider themselves as a weaker member of the society”, she told. Speaking in her native language, she said that the girls should be able to handle the difficulties that arise during their job. She further opined that the females should act wisely to tackle adverse situations, and every girl is capable to do so.
In today’s society, where a thick of the jobs are still meant for the males despite their eligibility for both the genders, Salma’s guts are worth admiring. Every day, she defies all the odds courageously, and serves her duty to make a living for her and her family with due dignity. We salute her stubborn spirit and wish all the girls to get inspired from her daring personality. She is an ideal person to become almost anyone’s role model, and is in fact, the pride of the state as well as the nation.