Mumtaz Kazi: Asia’s first woman diesel engine driver

Mumtaz_KaziBehind every successful man there is a woman, they say. Who is behind a successful woman?

There are thousands and thousands of women who have taken hurdles head-on and excelled in their life, and are now pride of the family, the society and the nation at large. Mumtaz Kazi is one of them.

Nation’s Pride and all along a supportive daughter, sister, wife and a caring mother. This is  Mumtaz Kazi, the first woman diesel engine driver in Asia. Limca Book of Records, in its 1995 edition, has acknowledged her great success.

Adding another feather to her cap is that she is the first train driver who has the skill of driving both Electric and Diesel engine.

In 1989, the change in the railway recruitment board policy in India enabled her to sit for the exam and she fared very well with the merits in all the exams right from written exams to Personal Interview. With the experience of nearly 20 years she is now serving the most crowded railways in the world the Mumbai Local.

Born and brought up in Mumbai, Mumtaz has seen many ups and downs in the life but it’s the family support that kept her moving.

Taught in Seth Anandilal Poddar High school, Mumtaz applied for the motorman job after her SSC in 1989. She got appointed in 1991 after the completion of her twelfth exam. But this was resisted by her father. “When I was selected my father, Allahrakhu Ismail Kathawala, who himself was in the Railways as the Trunk Superintendent at Churchgate railway station resisted and ask me to complete my DMLT course,” says Mumtaz in an interaction with

But A.I. Kathawala, as her father was popularly known,was advised by his friends in railways and other relatives tried to convince him to allow Mumtaz join the job. “It’s the R.V. Raikar uncle, who was a close friend of my father, finally succeeded and convinced my father,” informs Mumtaz.

Mumtaz is not just successful in her profession but a very typical Indian woman. She is helpful, supportive and sacrificing for her family.

A.I. Kathawala called up when he came to know that a journalist is doing an interview with his daughter to tell about her contribution to his family. A.I. Kathawala said, “I am really proud of my daughter because she is not only successful in her profession but also because she changed the life of my family.”

A.I. Kathawala continued to praise her courageous daughter. He said it’s because of her support he was able to buy a home in Mumbai and was able to educate his two sons Imtiyaz and Feroz, both are engineer and now settled in Canada.

Feroz, brother of Mumtaz, called up from Toronto and shared the same feeling as of his father, “Our sister is the best and she made us what we are today.”

Now mother of two beautiful kids Tausif Ahmed, 8 and Fateen, 4, Mumtaz married to Maqsood Kazi, an electrical engineer from Nandoorbar, a district of Maharashtra near Gujarat border in 2002. Mumtaz’s family is originally Gujarat.

Maqsood, the proud husband of Mumtaz said: “She is a lovely housewife and very caring mother.” He added, “To take care of our kids Mumtaz did opt to leave the due promotion but Allah will give her the best reward.”

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By Rehan Ansari

Thanks to AWR friend:
Shafiq Ur Rahman Khan
Empower People

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