Vasanthakumari is known as ‘Asia’s first lady bus driver’. She was born in the Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu. After completing her 24 years of service in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, she retires from service on April, 2017. She had been driving on the Nagercoil-Trivandrum for years. She started this profession in the early 1990s and was appointed in government service on March, 1993. A woman driving a heavy vehicle was quite a novel sight for the people back then. As a result she was subjected to bullying and harassments by the onlookers and colleagues. But she persisted in her career despite all the adversities, partly for income and partly for the interest she had for the vehicle. In the words of Vasanthakumari, even after two decades, the mentality of the people remains unchanged.
She is probably the only women in India who has sustained this highly stressful job for the longest term. Many women have come forward for this profession recently, but according to Vasanthakumari, most of them have switched to desk jobs later.