Representative image | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thrissur: “It was a bus from Thrissur to Kalpetta through. I suddenly started to have menstrual bleeding. Back pain was unbearable. The pain aggravated at each moment bus hit potholes on the road. When the bus reached Perinthalmanna, I took my bag and rushed. I had five minutes in hand,” a KSRTC female conductor shared her plight.
“The journey took around 7.5 hours. The uniform was heavily stained. I was in a bad mental state due to the pain and worry. I have to be part of the return journey too. Bus was getting filled with passengers. I had no options” she continued.
Long journeys, unhygienic toilets at depots, unavailability of water in the toilets, are the issues faced by female conductors. Apart from that, these toilets will not have waste bins in them and they have to wrap the used sanitary pads in paper and keep them inside their bags.
All these remain a reality even at a time when the state government is earning praise for its menstrual leave mandate for students.
“While going on some routes I don’t even drink water as there are no hygienic toilets in the route. I am struggling with kidney stones. At Kottayam stand, the restroom for women employees is above the old building. Think about the difficulty in getting up there when we have time constraints,” said another female conductor.
Earlier, an order was issued to form a women's cell in the transport corporation. However, this has not become a reality.” Their struggles continue.