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Kerala’s Driving Dynamo: 71-Year-Old Woman Adds 11th Heavy Vehicle License To Her Collection

In 2004, Radhamani faced immense challenges following her husband's sudden death. Despite initial setbacks, she demonstrated remarkable resilience, turning adversity into opportunity and showcasing strength in the face of hardship. Her journey exemplifies the power of perseverance and self-belief.

Edited By : News24 Desk | Updated: May 27, 2024 10:12 IST
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71-year-old Radhamani Amma defies gender norms in Kerala
71-year-old Radhamani Amma defies gender norms in Kerala

Radhamani Amma, affectionately known as Mani Amma, is breaking age and gender barriers in Kerala with her exceptional driving skills. At 71, she boasts 11 diverse licenses, including those for heavy-duty vehicles like JCBs and cranes. In an interview with, she shared her inspiring journey, passion, and determination to challenge societal norms.

When asked about her motivation to learn driving heavy vehicles, especially during a time when it was rare for women, she credited her husband. ‘We started a heavy vehicle driving school after my husband suggested it. I obtained my four-wheeler license in 1981 and then my heavy vehicle license in 1984,’ she explained. Radhamani recounted the difficulties of obtaining a heavy vehicle license in Kerala back then and how they eventually established the first heavy vehicle driving school in the state.

Following her husband’s death in 2004, Radhamani faced initial challenges but persevered, taking over the driving school and becoming a leader in the driving community. ‘The A2Z driving school later became the A2Z driving institute, teaching how to operate all types of heavy equipment,’ she proudly stated.

Despite her age, Radhamani continues to learn and is currently pursuing a mechanical engineering diploma. She reminisced about her early driving lessons on an Ambassador car and how learning to drive was more challenging in the past, especially for a woman driving heavy vehicles.

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Reflecting on her achievement of holding licenses for 11 different vehicle categories, Radhamani encouraged others to pursue their dreams with dedication and confidence. She emphasized that driving large vehicles is easier than driving smaller ones and urged individuals to overcome fear or hesitation.

Balancing her academic pursuits with her love for driving, Radhamani expressed her passion for learning and challenging age-related limitations. She also shared her eagerness to pilot any new vehicles she encounters, despite acknowledging that some dreams, like commanding a train, may be impractical.

Offering advice to women aspiring to enter traditionally male-dominated fields like driving, Radhamani urged them not to view driving as exclusive to any gender. She highlighted the evolving perception of driving as a necessity for both men and women, with driving skills opening up numerous opportunities.

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Radhamani Amma’s story is one of resilience, determination, and breaking barriers. Her journey inspires generations to pursue their passions and defy societal norms.

First published on: May 27, 2024 10:12 AM IST

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