Rasika Lokhande, Contractual Employee,
Welder, Mahindra Vehicles Manufacturers Ltd.
How did you find interest in welding which is a male dominated skill?
There are many sectors and Skills which have been male dominated in the past but today females are making their mark in all male dominated sectors. Also I was interested to do something different in life and thus challenged the status quo. I only focused on the training and learning which was provided to me by Mahindra and never really thought about this. From the learnings and teachings till date I have learnt that if you have grit and valor to achieve difficult things then all skills can be acquired and mastered and that’s what I did.
Could you brief us on your journey so far into welding?
Truly speaking I had chosen Surveyor trade in my ITI course and my forte was never welding. One fine day Mahindra came to our ITI and chose us for an industrial visit at MVML Chakan plant. It was then where it all began. In the industrial visit I looked upon the welding which was being done by the associates and instantly liked what they did. I told the Mahindra faculty about my interest and they helped me to achieve my dream. I was trained for 4 months in the welding skill and when my confidence increased I was put up on the production line for practical exposure. I joined TUV BIW on 1st Sept 2016 and started as a welder on MFL Line. I practiced and learnt practically on the line for 1.5 years and after which Mahindra helped me participate in the welding competitions which were held internally and externally. Due to Mahindra’s I have participated in 2 times in CII, IIW and AFS Competitions and have won accolades due to the support given by my team at MVML plant. I am also aiming for the international IIW competition which will be held child and I will be proudly representing INDIA in the competition. I have learnt Co2 welding and Spot welding Skill till date and have tried to master the skill. I have been vouching to learn TIG welding, Flux Coating and Gas Cutting as a skill in welding and would like to advance to another level in my learning and Knowledge.
Could you quickly take us to your qualification background?
I have my 10th Standard education from Chinchwad and secured 70% . After which I appeared for 12th and Secured 68% in my board exams. After 12th, I joined ITI and took up the surveyor trade and thereafter Mahindra inspired and helped me to gain my experience of 2.5 years in the company.
How much of total experience do you hold?
I have a very small yet enriching experience of working for 2.5 years with the Mahindra family. It has been a great learning experience all through with my senior and colleagues training me and enriching my knowledge and skills
Any welding processes you specialize into?
I specialize in Co2 Welding, Arc welding and Spot Welding.
Could you please share your experience of some of the mega project you worked upon?
2.5 years is a very small period to be a part of Mega Projects but I have been part of many kaizens which I have done on the production line and also have trained 10 welders for CII competitions.
Your current project?
I have been working on the TUV BIW production line as a Co2 and Spot Welder
When on site, what are the key points you follow during welding for any project? Any suggestions.
Safety is of Prime importance during any work. In welding Safety is of prime importance. All the norms and regulations which have been thought to me by my seniors is what I remember always and use all the PPE’s while welding on the line or practicing.
All the instruments with which you work have to be secured by you all the times. There should be proper 5S for the same.
Being Energetic all times even after doing heavy welding works and developing a stamina to work for longer time periods
What kind of challenges do you come across and how do you manage to cope up with the same?
All the competitions in which I have participated have been the major challenges for me. These competitions are really fierce and you need to come out with the best that you have in the pressure situation in these competitions . I do my best to win to perform and win all the competitions and try to overcome every challenges put forth.
Have you anytime faced gender discrimination on site, as the stream is male dominated?
Not at all , instead Mahindra family has been inspiring me to move forward and achieve the impossible. They have supported me in my endeavors and will continue to do so in future also. My senior and colleagues have not left any stone unturned to nurture my talent and churn out the best within me.
What are your future plans?
I want to be a great and sharp welder and earn a huge name for myself and the Mahindra family. I want to be a proud female having great welding skills in as such male dominated welding skill. My family, relatives and the company officials are looking upto to me with great expectation and I hope I can complete all of those in future. Also I want to represent my country at the highest level of welding competitions and win accolades for my country.
Rasika Lokhande, Contractual Employee,