It is known to us all, that Mothers, on a daily basis live dual roles and ace every responsibility irrespective of all the challenges thrown at them. With the pandemic entering our lives, it became even more difficult for Moms with the closure of their social support systems, schools, and daycare centres. A McKinsey study states that nearly 33% of working mothers considered downshifting their careers or even leaving their jobs when Covid-19 was on the rise. Hence, this Mother’s Day, working moms of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) share their experiences of working in the dynamic industry, how the pandemic affected their lives, and how they kept going with support from their families and organisations.
With over 100 mothers currently working at different levels at CSMIA, the airport aims to constantly support its employees in their endeavours. With key consideration to all, CSMIA continues to provide a safe working environment not just for the passengers, but for all the stakeholders and employees.
Priyanka Raikar, a 29-year-old mother to a seven-month-old, is a Customer Service Executive (CSE) at CSMIA for the past eight years. Speaking about her experience working at CSMIA she said, “Every minute counts in the aviation industry as days and the nights are alike with airports operating 24X7. The pandemic was like a roller-coaster in my life as it showed both, the ups, and the downs. Being pregnant and working at the peak of the pandemic was scary, but new policies and norms at work added to the support I received from my family. Moreover, CSMIA provided a safe haven for all the employees which boosted confidence to work even during the tough times.” Being part of the team, which aided passengers from various countries in relief and evacuated flights, gave Ms. Raikar immense joy and pleasure. “At the time where everyone was safe at home, we at CSMIA were on the frontline and ensured every passenger had a safe flight and reached home safely.”
39-year-old, Vijaya Mhatre is a mother of two, has been a part of CSMIA for the past 15-years. Ms. Vijaya, Junior officer (security department-inline) said, “Aviation industry is a fast pacing working environment. At times the work is demanding as security is of utmost importance at CSMIA, but at the end of the day you feel gratified to put in the extra efforts”. During the pandemic, Ms. Mhatre said that CSMIA provided employees pick-up and drop facility. All the locations inside and around the terminal building were sanitized frequently, and personal protective (PPE) kits and masks were provided by the airport which gave her the safety and confidence to report to work.
Jyotsna Pawar, a 36-year-old Junior officer (inline baggage screening) has been associated with CSMIA for the past 16 years. A mother of a girl child, while talking about her experience said, “I feel proud to be a part of this industry. During the pandemic, CSMIA acted as a – home away from home. All measures were taken at CSMIA to ensure safety of not just the passengers but also the employees who are an integral part of the airport.” Ms. Pawar was part of the team which aided the smooth transit of passengers who were being evacuated from Covid-19 hit countries. “It was challenging to balance work and family while ensuring I don’t catch the virus, but CSMIA ensured all government mandated protocols were followed, and we were provided with extra week offs to take care of ourselves and our families in these trying times.”
Motherhood is an honor and an irreplaceable role. CSMIA values every mother’s ambition and encourages them to go beyond their dreams to hone their skills while providing a safe working environment. CSMIA during the pandemic ensured every employee got extra time off to take care of themselves and their families. For CSMIA, its employees are an integral part of the system who make CSMIA – a ‘Gateway to Goodness’.