TN: Kamal Haasan gifts car to woman bus driver who gave up her job
Actor-cum-politician Kamal Haasan gifted a car to a Coimbatore-based woman bus driver, who had quit her job, after a controversy over DMK MP Kanimozhi travelling in her bus last week.
Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan in a statement issued on Monday (June 26) said that he was sad when he heard about M Sharmila, who earlier had been praised for setting an example to women, by taking up a challenging job as a bus driver.
“I was anguished over the recent debate surrounding Sharmila, who was a very good example to women of her age. Sharmila should not remain a mere driver. My belief is to create many Sharmilas,” he added.
He also said that when women, who were suppressed for centuries break barriers it is the duty of a civilised society to stand beside them.
On behalf of Kamal Cultural Centre, Haasan presented Sharmila a new car to continue her journey as a ‘rental car driving entrepreneur’.
— Makkal Needhi Maiam | மக்கள் நீதி மய்யம் (@maiamofficial) June 26, 2023
Sharmila, who worked on a private bus plying between Gandhipuram and Somanur in Coimbatore, was overjoyed when Kanimozhi travelled on her bus on Friday morning. She had earlier taken BJP leader Vanathi Srinivasan on a trip.
During the trip, Annathai, the bus conductor asked Kanimozhi to get a ticket, despite being allegedly told by Sharmila not to do so. The MP’s personal assistant paid the conductor for six tickets, which angered Sharmila because she felt Kanimozhi was being disrespected and she left her job.
After taking the ride on the bus driven by Sharmila, Kanimozhi told reporters, “Generally, when we say men and women are equal, people ask pointless questions like ‘can women drive a lorry or a bus?’. But today here you can see a woman doing that too.”
Further, she added that she felt happy when she sees women doing all kinds of roles and not just working asd doctors or engineers. “I had congratulated Sharmila over the phone earlier. She wished to meet me when I visit Coimbatore. So, today I came and travelled on her bus. I appreciate her and extend my wishes,” Kanimozhi had said.