A 71-year-old woman from Kerala’s Thoppumpady, named J Radhamani Amma has long contested the stereotype that men are superior drivers. The elderly woman takes driving passion to a whole new level. The remarkable thing about her is that she is authorised to operate vehicles in 11 different categories.
The Better India, a media outlet, posted a video diary on Radhamani Amma with montages of her operating a crane and forklift as well as waving her licence.
It’s interesting to note that Radhamani Amma is still a student. She is enrolled in a mechanical engineering diploma programme at Kalamassery Polytechnic. She also runs a driving school with her children. She learned to drive at the age of 30 at the insistence of her late husband, TV Lalan. She quickly discovered that driving was exhilarating and began to experiment with various types of vehicles.
Radhamani Amma acquired the necessary licences to drive each of those cars at a time when women were less likely to experiment with driving. She obtained the hazardous licence in 2021 after obtaining the licences for various vehicles, including the JCB, auto-rickshaw, crane, trailer, forklift, bus, and trailer.
Following the death of her husband in an accident in 2004, she started supporting her kids at the family’s driving school. Radhamani Amma is presumably the first woman in Kerala to obtain 11 vehicle licences. Encouraged by her husband, who established the A-Z Driving School in Thoppumpady in the 1970s, she obtained her first licence for both a bus and a truck in 1988.
Currently, the elderly woman known affectionately as “Maniyamma” oversees the driving school’s computer operations at an age when most people consider retirement. Radhamani gets to put her skills to use once in a while when she pitches in to help with demonstrations for students.
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