How This Hyderabad NGO Is Encouraging Women To Learn Driving

Led by Hyderabad-based NGO "MOWO Social Initiatives," the 3,333+ km campaign journeyed from Kanniyakumari to Kashmir using electric vehicles to encourage women to pick up electric auto driving as a livelihood

A glimpse of the e-auto journey Photo: MOWO Social Initiatives

Spotting female auto drivers on the road assures one that gender constraints about vehicles are finally being shunned. It may not be a pan-India sight yet, but female auto drivers have carved their niche. From India's first female autorickshaw driver, Shila Dawre, to now many salwar kameez-clad auto drivers, women are driving this male-dominated public transport for aspirational and financial reasons. Besides breaking stereotypes, many, like Delhi's first female autorickshaw driver, Sunita Choudhary, ride for sustainability. However, challenges like safety and gender taboo continue to paralyse the prospects of women from lower-income families to become breadwinners. The conservative notions box women into pre-defined roles, depriving them of earning their livelihood. Despite many state programmes to uplift these women, a great deal of work needs to be done on the ground.