India's first female truck driver Yogita Raghuvanshi has raised concerns about the corruption and harassment experienced by truck drivers on the road. Speaking at the launch of Highway Heroes by All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA), Raghuvanshi expressed his views on corruption within regional transport offices (RTOs).
He commented, Even after the checkposts have been removed, RTOs come to our roads only to harass drivers. Drivers wait for hours in the hope of starting after the RTOs leave. This is because we know That they're there. Trouble us and take the money. Why do we need RTOs now when the government has abolished checkposts and all details and payments made to the government are available online?
Raghuvanshi became India's first woman truck driver after obtaining a license to drive heavy vehicles in 2006. She set out on this journey to earn more income for her children and soon realized its potential. In the first week, I earned Rs 2,000. So, I thought if I work for a month, I can earn Rs 8,000. I used to get Rs 3,000 per month in my previous job, she said.
During her maiden voyage, Raghuvanshi covered a distance of 1,100 kilometers from Bhopal to Hyderabad in just three days. Currently, she owns a 10-wheeler truck, a gift given by a major automobile company in honor of her achievement as India's first woman truck driver.
Raghuvanshi also recounted an incident during a road trip to Meghalaya, where he saw a uniformed man collecting money from drivers despite the absence of border posts in Bihar. He challenged the officer, questioned the need for such a check and took a photograph. The officer demanded to see their papers and responded with threats, highlighting the problems faced by drivers on the road.