Women compete for the posts of 'coolies'

Women porters

According to Chief Public Relations Officer of North Central Railway Rajesh Dutt Bajpai, "A total of 19 women have appeared for the physical endurance test which was concluded here yesterday".

"This is for the first time that the Railway Board issued revised guidelines for recruitment of porters as per which women could compete alongside their male counterparts for the posts," he said.

"There are a total of 344 vacancies for porters in the NCR zone, for which 4800 candidates, including 27 women, had applied. After initial scrutiny, which included a general inspection of physical well-being, 19 women were allowed to take the physical endurance test," Bajpai said.

Several busy and important railway stations like Allahabad, Kanpur, Aligarh and Vindhyachal fall in the NCR zone, which accounts for nearly 15 per cent of the total passenger traffic of the Indian Railways, he added.

"The physical endurance test requires the women to carry a load of 25 kg and complete the distance of 200 metres in not more than four minutes. The load and the distance is the same for both men and women though the time-limit for the latter has been relaxed by one minute," the CPRO said.

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