Riding her way through life
- 30 Jul 2019
"I was 13 when I was married to my cousin. I didn't even understand what marriage meant, but when I was asked, I said okay. One year later, I delivered my first baby - a daughter. My mother never sent me to school after my menstruation, even though I wanted to study. Early on, I had decided that my kids should be able to study as much as they wanted to and that I'd support them with all that I have. My husband has always been a sweet and supportive man. But he couldn't earn enough for our family of four.
So when we moved to Hyderabad, I ran a vegetable shop to lessen his burden. Unfortunately, it was a huge loss! But I did not give up. It was still not too late to start afresh. This time, however, I took up something I absolutely love - driving. I bought an auto and started going around the city. Initially, it was challenging because I didn't know many routes. With time, I became a pro! My customers were mostly women who trusted another woman to ferry them. People would be slightly surprised, but back in my village, everybody knew what a wonderful driver I was! Even in my early teens, I would sneakily take the bikes of our guests out for a quick ride. I started with a cycle and went on to drive a tractor. My husband and I grew up in the same family, so he knew my driving skills. When I told him I want to take this up as a profession, he was more than happy to support me. Soon, I began having a regular set of women customers who wanted me to pick and drop them everyday. They felt safe in my auto and that was a wonderful feeling. Today, I go around the city, not just in an auto but a car as well. I can also ride a bullet! If I had access to adequate education and finances, I would've been a pilot. But I didn't and I don't want my children to feel that way. I will not let them. I'll drive and earn money till the very end - to keep my family and myself, happy."
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