A substantial number of these trained women employees are working as shovel operators, electricians, armature winder, welder, moulder, pump operator, valveman etc
The women workforce of WCL has also explored the power of social media to bring a wave of positivity amongst peer group
New Delhi: Wearing helmet, mask and gloves, Pooja Samarth is in command of a HEMM or Heavy Earth Moving Machinery Hydraulic Shovel at Umrer Opencast Coal Project of WCL (Western Coalfields Ltd) in Maharashtra. She is a Shovel Operator and works for 8 hours in a shift, extracting overburden to expose coal required for power generation. She takes care of her parents and also reaches to the needy along with fellow workers, distributing food packets during the current grim situation.
Nidhu Rani, an Armature Winder at Pathakhera Regional Workshop of WCL in Madhya Pradesh, is ensuring repairing and maintenance of machines deployed for mining operation. She is an active member of Shakti Group, educating fellow workmen and their families about the precautions that need to be taken against Coronavirus. Both Pooja and Nidhu are among the many other women coal warriors of WCL, who are not only fighting the COVID-19 crisis but also contributing towards energising the nation.
WCL Women Corona warriors
The women workforce in WCL comprises of non-executives and executives. The non-executives are trained for both mining and non-mining operations. A substantial number of these trained women employees are working as shovel operators, electricians, armature winders, welder, moulder, pump operator, valve man etc. in opencast mines or in workshops. Others are engaged in offices as clerks, data entry operators, accountants, console operators, chemists etc. Some of this workforce is working as staff nurses, paramedics, and security guards.
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 Category-I employee of Kanhan Area, says, “We see to it that collieries and machines are well sanitised before the shift starts every day.”
Fostering gender neutrality
The women workforce of WCL has also explored the power of social media to bring a wave of positivity amongst the peer group. Today, social media is abuzz with the activity of Team Shakti, a voluntary group of women employees in each area and headquarters of WCL, offering support and strength to co-workers. Apart from undertaking colony and home visits, WCL Team Shakti has now been on the frontline with food distribution to the needy at a time like this.
These women warriors, who have excelled in their fields, have been felicitated as ‘Real Heroes’ of WCL on multiple occasions by the management. This has fostered a work culture that is gender-neutral. “With changing times, society is gradually acknowledging women like us who work in field, 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 mining unit and is now working in HQs. Among other women executives of WCL, many are efficiently shouldering responsibility, either heading a unit or a department or keeping the spirit of Team WCL high.