Meet Hyderabad’s Indira Eegalapati, metro pilot in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah: Saudi Arabia was once known for being the only country in the world that does not allow women to drive vehicles. A common stereotype once prevailed that “Women cannot drive”. However, women have been breaking stereotypes with vision 2030 women’s power in Saudi Arabia is in full effect.

Not only vehicles, but women are also now steering trains in Saudi Arabia for the first time. Indian woman loco pilot Indira Eegalapati deserves special attention from the Indian community on International Women’s Day.

She is the pilot on Riyadh Metro Train, hailing from Guntur and settled in Hyderabad. Before coming to pilot trains in Saudi Arabia, Indira worked in Hyderabad Metro for over 3 years and she logged 15,000 km total.

An IT engineering post-graduate whose friends settled in the software field yet she chose to be different by driving trains not only at home but also abroad.

“While I was a child I used to assist my mechanic father by giving him tools and spare parts and now I am driving one of the most advanced trains in the world”, said Indira.

“We are three sisters and our father has given utmost importance to the education of girls, though some of our relatives oppose spending on education instead of saving for dowry as we don’t have brothers,” she recalled.

“When I was selected for Riyadh Metro, most of our relatives were apprehensive as to how a single woman can go to Saudi Arabia to work as train pilot, my determination didn’t deter me and I made my way to Saudi”, added Indira.

Indira also operated the train in Doha during the world cup where she was sent by Saudi Arabia.

She is full of praise for her Saudi female colleagues and impressed with women empowerment in Saudi Arabia as part of Vision 2030. It is noteworthy to mention that Saudi women pilots constitute a major part of metro train pilots in the Kingdom.

Indira is married and her husband also works as a loco pilot in Qatar.