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32 years on the train

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

FOR 32 years, Janen Singh has never switched his career. He has held on dear to his work as a train driver because it has been the work that has helped him put food on the table and provide for his family.

Janen is outspoken and friendly and would, of course, invite you to join him for a ride on his train travelling on the Coral Coast railway if you may have happened to meet him for the first time.

In fact, he is a familiar face on the Coral Coast and even in the rugby town of Sigatoka because he is a train driver who transports tourists from the Shangri-La's Fijian Resort to wherever they may want to travel to for a day trip.

The account of Janen's life story is interesting and inspiring because he is not just a driver, he is also a mechanic and, at times when his job as a driver is low in demand, he cleans the train tracks.

"This train is originally from Lautoka, it was used back in those days for the carting of sugar cane but the company I used to work for bought it and in 1985, I started driving this train here in Sigatoka," Mr Singh said.

"We did a bit of touch-ups to it, changed the engine and painted it up nicely again before we started using it to transport tourists as they enjoy their stay here on the Coral Coast.

"These are tourists who usually spend their holidays at (Shangri-La's) Fijian Resort and may want to go shopping around in Sigatoka Town and stopover in some villages or at the sand dunes and the museum before we return to the resort."

Janen, originally from Nabila, Sigatoka, loves his work because he does not only drive, he does maintenance as well and his work helps him to maintain a healthy life daily.

And he has a few words of advice for Fijians who may still be looking for a job and those who may find it hard to secure employment.

"Every career is the same, whether you are a lawyer, driver or a mechanic.

"The most important thing in this world is to value your career and always remain true to whatever career you have chosen to do.

"I have just been a driver all these years, however, I have managed to send my sons to school and provide for my family because I always stay true to it."

Janen, 52, is married and has three sons and he still enjoys his work because it gives him a chance to meet people every day, especially tourists.

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