Friday, February 24, 2012

lady driving scorpio

auto aunty

rly morning, when most women in this Rajasthan city are busy with their daily chores, Manju Khatri begins her day behind the wheels of an auto rickshaw, ferrying kids to school.
She is the only woman auto rickshaw driver of Udaipur and has stepped into the male dominated profession after facing a lot of hardships.
In her late 40s, Manju has a diploma in stitching from Punjab. She settled down in Udaipur 25 years ago after her marriage.
Unable to make both ends meet with her meagre income, she decided to take a loan to buy an auto rickshaw and earn a living by leasing the vehicle out.
Her sole motive behind this was to provide better education to her kids. But her dreams were soon shattered as the auto rickshaw she had purchased only added to her monetary problems.
Regular visits to the garage for repairs as well as mounting bills for spare parts besides the drivers fees worsened her debt position.
It was then that Narendra Barewa, a mechanic, came to her rescue and encouraged her to take up driving as a profession.
He taught her driving in the wee hours of the night, away from the inquisitive stares of onlookers who, initially, made things difficult for her.
Now, Manju triumphantly drives on Udaipur roads and has won the support and respect of her fellow auto rickshaw drivers who readily lend a helping hand to their dear Aunty at all times.
The traffic policemen also assist her whenever needed.
The people in Udaipur are very nice, and the city is safe for girls too, Manju said. She feels good when the women from affluent families regard her with respect.
We feel proud of her. She has shown that a woman can compete with men in any sphere. It is a motivating factor for us, said Lakshmi, a housewife.
Although not uncommon in southern India, a woman driving an auto rickshaw is unusual in Rajasthan.
Manjus husband is a kerosene vendor. Despite many hardships she has got her daughter married and her son is pursuing a career in computers. Within a period of three years, she has repaid the loan she took for the rickshaw.
No work is below dignity when accomplished with a sense of responsibility

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