Baleshwar (Orissa), Mar 14: Driven by poverty, 43-year-old Sushma of Baleshwar spends the entire day pulling a rickshaw to make her both ends meet. Left alone by her husband to fend for herself, she came to this small town and decided to take up rickshaw pulling. After considerable struggle, she has been successful in making a place for herself in the profession.
"Earlier, I never bothered about earning a living, as I lived with my husband. But, circumstances forced me to separate from him. He used to harass and beat me regularly. I decided to leave him and start afresh in a new place. Now, I pull a rickshaw to make a living for myself. It is any day better than begging," said Sushma. Male rickshaw pullers of Baleshwar admired her grit and determination to be self-sufficient, that they have fondly nicknamed her as 'Big Brother'. "She works hard to feed her family. It is commendable," said Niranjan Pandit, a rickshaw puller.
This is not the first instance where a woman has stepped out of the confines of her household to make a living for herself by venturing into a male bastion.
India has witnessed a revolution in the field of women empowerment. Women have taken up professions like becoming auto drivers and managing a petrol pumps. Women are taking up professions dominated by men, to prove their mettle and also become breadwinners of their families.