Manju Devi | The Lady Coolie

Many passengers of the ‘Jaipur Railway Station’ are wonder about the arrival of 33-year-old Manju, as a Coolie on the station. She is the mother of three, carries the heavy luggage of passengers to earn their livelihood.

After the death of her husband a year ago, Manju took up his work, becoming first woman Coolie in Rajasthan. With her husband’s brass tag plate, numbered 15, attached to her arm, Manju started working at the ‘Jaipur railway station’.  Farming is not enough to support because fields are barren, so I had left with no other choice, so then, I decided to carry forward the work of my husband.

“Sometimes she earns 50 rupees, sometimes 100. And on some days, nothing at all; that’s when she got slightly tense”.

The biggest challenge for Manju’s was to break into a traditionally male bastion. However, she says that she has not faced any kind of harassment in a week so far, she has worked at the station. She works from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. when the station is busiest. The security personnel of the station and her male colleagues keep an eye on her to protect from any kind of danger. While taking her interview, she also told that she managed everything without the support of male coolies, who gave tips to reach the trains and sometimes helped customers pass.

“She is like our daughter; we will take care of her like we take care of our daughters said other coolie at Station.”

Many passengers at the station, praised Manju for her dedication towards her work. 

A commuter says, “We had a woman president and we had women to fly our plans, so why not a woman coolie.”

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