Shimla: Archana, who joined the state public works department in 1988 after graduating from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, sees her new assignment as chief engineer, national highways, of the hill state as challenging. “I have a long experience in field postings but this assignment is certainly challenging. I’m proud to have got a bigger opportunity to serve my state,” she says. She opted for civil engineering when it was rare for women to take up engineering nearly four decades ago and today she has come a long way through sheer dint of hard work in the field. Making inroads into yet another male bastion, Archana Parmar, 54, took charge as the first woman chief engineer of Himachal Pradesh .
PWD engineer-in-chief VK Sharma described Archana as one of the outstanding officers in the department. “She is a dedicated officer who has always worked honestly. It’s due to her hard work that she has got this promotion,” he says.
“I was inspired by to do civil engineering by my father. In those days, few women ventured into engineering. My elder brother was studying in Chandigarh so I insisted my father send me there too for higher studies. We were a batch of 70 students with only three girls. I had the option of studying architecture and medicine, but I opted for engineering as my mathematics was equally good. Even after studying engineering, girls preferred academics in those days. It was rare for them to go on field postin.