Shanti Devi, 55, is believed to be India’s sole lady truck mechanic.
She started working at a tea shop in Delhi and her husband was a truck mechanic. Realizing that she could do more to support her family, Shanti Devi learned mechanical skills from her husband and other mechanics while at work.
The tea shop was very successful and the location was also ideal. Opening a workshop was the perfect idea.
She works at Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar (SGTN)—Asia’s largest truck halt point—where she co-owns a tea shop, alongside an automobile workshop with her husband.
My husband, Ram Bahadur and I are a team and I can say with confidence that I juggle my job and my household duties with ease. I am as comfortable cooking for the family and working on the sewing machine as I am fixing a punctured tire at our workshop – AW-7, Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar (SGTN) in Delhi.”
Spread over an area of more than 75 acres SGTN and is reportedly the largest trucking stopover point in Asia. At any moment, the point has over 70,000 trucks parked and around 20,000 trucks pass by every day.
In the beginning, people doubted her skills. Men would stare at her, wondering what she was doing in this stereotypically masculine profession.
On an average day, Shanti fixes 10-15 tire punctures. She can easily lift and move a 50 kg truck tire.
“I find it quite strange to see people looking at me with surprise when I am replacing truck tires. But to me, there’s no such thing as a job for men or a job for women exclusively. I believe in following my heart. I do not adhere to parameters set by others. Today, I know that I am a better mechanic than many men and prove it through my work every day,” Shanti told Gulf News.
Shanti has been doing her job for 20 years now and believes that other women should also take up this job. She is also a motivational speaker who gives speeches at schools and colleges.