Kozhikode: It's the fourth continuous day on Monday since the maddening rush started in the bus, but Saritha A.P. is joy personified.
She is a KSRTC conductor on the hectic Kozhikode-Kuttiadi route, and her happiness is for the lakhs of extra revenue the corporation is earning now, thanks to the private bus strike.
"We are running extra services to clear the rush, and more revenue is coming through. That makes me happy amid the worries over the sinking corporation," she told DC.
But how tough is to manage a jam-packed crowd on the bus nowadays? "It is undoubtedly challenging to sail through the rush and collect money. It is physically tough even for our male colleagues now. But experience has taught us to manage the situation," she smiles.
Deepa K.S., another conductor on Kozhikode-Kannur route, has many pleasant experiences of passengers helping her, may be due to her gender.
“Comprehending that it would be tough for a woman physically to manage the rush, passengers will announce the approaching stops and exact tender money loudly. Elder passengers will have extra care. They will support by clearing the way and urging others to clear from the conductor's way inside the bus," she says. But Radhika S., another conductor working under Pavangad depot, feels there is still a minor section of passengers who try to misbehave.
"But we have learned well to handle such eve teasers. A shout against them will bring the whole other passengers rallying with us," she said.
According to KSRTC Kozhikode zonal manager Joshy John, the corporation has earned a whopping Rs 1.54 crore extra revenue in the first four days of the strike. Additional services were mostly on Kannur, Kuttiadi routes.
"Of the 220 conductors under the Kozhikode, Pavangad depots, 35 are women. They are very much capable of managing the rush like their male counterparts," agrees KSRTC district transport officer (DTO) Abdul Nazar V.M....