Earth & Conservation

India's First and Only Female Tunnel Engineer

Annie Roy wants other women to break stereotypes and follow their dreams like she did.

<p>Photo: WikiMedia Commons</p>

In India, it's pretty unusual to see a woman working in construction and engineering, which might be why Annie Roy's co-workers thought she was a visitor on her first day at the construction site of Delhi Metro, reports The Times of India. Annie is the first and only female tunnel engineer in the entire country. That first day on the job, her face was sprayed with hydraulic oil and a colleague said her skin would probably glow forever.

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Since then, Annie has had an adventure-filled career path. During the Bengaluru Metro project, she drove the tunnel-boring machine, called Godavari, completely on her own. She would typically spend 8 hours driving the machine inside the tunnel every day. When she began working for Chennai Metro in 2009, she had to go to Doha, Qatar for six months. Her visa application was rejected three times because they don't allow unmarried women to work there. They finally approved her on the fourth try after she fought them on it.

Working in a male-dominated profession has made Annie really proud of her work. She hopes other women will break stereotypes and pursue their passion like she has. She told TOI, "I want women to drive a tunnel-boring machine. I want them to work in the tunnel."

Top Photo: Central Secretariat Delhi Metro