Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Meet Saseendra, first woman in Kerala to drive CM’s vehicle during passing-out parade

For T Saseendra, driving was never a craze. It was something she took to, in the mid-90s, when she realised there were very few female driving instructors in Kerala at the time. She had just gotten married, after a love affair, much to the dismay of her family. It was a time when it was important for her to have a job and be financially independent. So she began to learn driving in a rusty-old Maruti 800 and started imparting the skills to others. But Saseendra had no clue that her talent would place her in the driving seat of an open jeep carrying the state's chief minister during a passing-out parade decades later.


September 14, 2018 5:36:33 pm
Meet Saseendra, first woman in Kerala to drive CM's vehicle during passing-out parade T Saseendra driving the official vehicle of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as he took the salute at passing-out parade at the Ramavarmapuram Police Academy in Thrissur. (Photo: special arrangement)

For T Saseendra, driving was never a craze. It was something she took to, in the mid-90s, when she realised there were very few female driving instructors in Kerala at the time. She had just gotten married, after a love affair, much to the dismay of her family. It was a time when it was important for her to have a job and be financially independent. So she began to learn driving in a rusty-old Maruti 800 and started imparting the skills to others. But Saseendra had no clue that her talent would place her in the driving seat of an open jeep carrying the state’s chief minister during a passing-out parade decades later.

On Tuesday, Saseendra (49) became the first woman in Kerala to drive the official vehicle of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as he took the salute at a passing-out parade at the Ramavarmapuram Police Academy in Thrissur. The event was doubly special for Saseendra – it was also the passing-out parade of the first batch of the women’s battalion formed under the state police force.

“Jeevathathile anarghamaya nimisham aanu (It’s a very special moment in my life),” said Saseendra on phone from Thrissur. “It’s a big responsibility to drive the CM’s vehicle. You can’t even make a small mistake. You cannot jerk the jeep even a little. So I had to be mentally prepared for it. I trained for the event for three weeks by driving twice in the day, morning and afternoon,” she added.

Saseendra, now working as a CPO at the district commissioner’s office in Thrissur, has completed 14 years in the police force. She has driven the squad cars of the women’s helpline team for many years and can easily drive even heavier vehicles like buses and trucks. In those days, Saseendra said she would always wonder why men were chosen to pilot the open jeep of VIP dignitaries during passing-out parades.

“But I am very happy that I was entrusted with the responsibility by my department. For some people, these things may sound very trivial. But for me, it’s a big deal,” said Saseendra, whose photo made a huge splash in all the local newspapers the next day.

During the last Congress government, Saseendra had driven the vehicles of then home minister Ramesh Chennithala and then power minister Aryadan Muhammed. Saseendra’s husband, Jayan, runs a driving school near Cherpu, where they reside and they have a daughter, Anagha.

Start your day the best way
with the Express Morning Briefing

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Thiruvananthapuram News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
X