Assamese woman drives auto to eke out a living

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By Peter Alex Todd

Guwahati, Feb 9 : Laksmhi Rani Barman's auto rickshaw is a familiar sight on the roads of Guwahati.

Rani has taken to the profession not by chance but by choice to eke out a living in the absence of a male member in the family.

Rani has been driving auto rickshaw for the last three years.

"To earn a living, I started to drive an auto. I never wanted to rent it out to the drivers since its uneconomical. I had to run the house. I have two kids and my mother takes care of them," she said.

Rani has spurned offers to rent out her auto rickshaw to some of her male counterparts and instead drives herself. In the process, she has not encountered any difficulties by working in an exclusively male preserve.

Her male colleagues don't see any threat in her joining the profession and are in fact extending her a helping hand.

"It's really very good to learn that a woman is driving an auto, running her house and also taking care of her kids. She has also chosen the right way," said Mohammad Shahi, an auto driver.

Rani is doing well and it is evident from the fact that she has cleared the loan she had taken to purchase the auto rickshaw.

Rani's bold initiative could be an inspiration to the women in search of economic self-reliance that would bring an attitudinal change in the society towards women drivers.

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