Pooja Samarth, wearing helmet, mask & gloves, is in command of a Heavy Earth Moving Machinery (HEMM) Hydraulic Shovel at Umrer Opencast Coal Project of Western Coalfields Ltd. (WCL) in Maharashtra. She is a Shovel Operator, working for 8 hours in a shift extracting overburden to expose coal required for Power Generation. She is taking care of her parents & also reaches the needy along with fellow workers distributing food packets during the current grim situation.
Nidhu Rani, Armature Winder at Pathakhera Regional Workshop of WCL in Madhya Pradesh, working with all precaution in a shift, is ensuring repairing & maintenance of machines deployed for the mining operation. She takes care of her family & also is an active member of Shakti Group educating fellow-workmen & their family to take precautions against Corona. Pooja is undeterred with COVID19 & so is Nidhu. They are putting their best to keep the flag of the company high. These are among many other Women Coal Warriors of WCL, challenging COVID19 & contributing to energize our Nation.
The women workforce in WCL comprises of non-executives & executives. The non-executives are trained for both mining & non-mining operation. Substantial no. of these trained women employees are working as Shovel Operator, Electrician, Armature Winder, Welder, Moulder, Pump Operator, Valveman, etc. in Opencast Mines or in Workshops. Others are engaged in Offices as Clerk, Date Entry Operator, Accountant, Console Operator, Chemist etc. Some of these workforces are working as Staff Nurse, Paramedics & Security Guards.
Women employees of WCL are doing their duties diligently especially amidst the COVID scenario. Staff Nurse Aashima Dalal takes an extra effort to arrive early at the office to ensure everyone wears a mask and uses sanitizer at the entrance before heading for work. Other women employees working in mines are contributing by spreading awareness and motivating people to be cautious at the workplace. Bhagya Shree a young Cat-I employee of Kanhan Area says “We see to it that collieries and machines are well sanitized before the shift starts every day.
The women workforce of WCL has explored the power of social media to bring a wave of positivity amongst the peer groups. Today the social media swarms with the activity of Team Shakti, a voluntary group of women employees in each Area & HQ, for support and strengthening their co-workers not just in the workplace but at home too. By colony and home visits and now with food distribution in time like this, Shakti has always been on the frontline.
And what keeps them going despite all odds. It’s recognition. These women warriors, who have excelled in their fields, have been felicitated as ‘Real Heroes’ of WCL on multiple occasions. This has started fostering a feeling of gender-neutral work culture. “With changing time the society is gradually acknowledging women like us who work infield, but what makes it easier above all, is the feeling of empowerment that we get here,” says Purva Naidu, who has worked as Head of HR in a Mine Unit & now working in HQ. Among other women executives of WCL, many are efficiently shouldering responsibility, either heading a Unit or a Department & keeping the spirit of Team WCL high.