Never Get On A Bus in Calcutta
Lynne Miles // 31 May 2005
A new move by the Indian state of West Bengal to employ women as bus conductors (only the second state to have done so) has been a resounding success (scroll down!). Although only 33 of over 1,600 conductors are women, their more professional and polite attitude to work has resulted in such positive feedback from passengers that the Calcutta State Transport Corporation are considering employing only female bus conductors in future.
Being almost entirely ignorant of gender issues in the Indian workplace I\x92m not sure whether this idea is forward thinking in a "women can excel in the workplace" way, or slightly more regressive in a "women are best at doing jobs where they have to be pretty and subservient" way. I\x92d be really interested to hear more from people who actually know what they\x92re talking about here!
Noted towards the bottom of the article, and perhaps of more pressing human concern, is the observation that public bus drivers in Calcutta regularly break the speed limit, and that many are addicted to drugs and alcohol. So if you do find yourself needing to get from A to B in Calcutta, consider walking.