Some women take the wheel of life in their own hands. They do not let conventions define them. In fact they love speed and they know that there is no stopping. Here they are:
When Sheela Kamble was only 18, she was recognized by the Limca Book of Records for being the first woman auto rickshaw driver. Sheela had many struggles. She had to fight even with the RTO to get a permission to drive. Today she has built a reputation for herself and her family is proud of her.
More than 60,000 auto rickshaws run in New Delhi. But Sunita Chaudhary is the only female to drive a rick in the city. When asked about her safety she says “I’ve never cared about what society thinks. I take care to not give ride to belligerent people. But work is work and I believe that my safety is in my own hands.”
Shanno Begum worked as a house help and caregiver when she heard that the Azad Foundation in Delhi offered a six-month driving course. She applied. It was a difficult decision for her since she didn’t earn anything for those six months. But now she has a regular income. She is a part of the growing tribe of women taxi drivers in the country.
In September 1991, a 20 year old girl, Mumtaz Kazi became the first Indian woman to operate a diesel engine train. During her training, she was the only woman in the batch of 50 men. In her long career she has performed rigorous tasks that were once assigned only to men. She says “I have never shied away from or given excuses from taking up a dangerous task because I am a woman.”
25 year old Sneha Sharma is not only a woman racer in the country, she is also a pilot with Indigo Airlines. Racing is a very expensive sport. Sharma says “My parents contributed, but I had to work part time with the rest of the team to meet expenses” Today, she is the only Indian driver to be sponsored by JK Tyres and Indigo Airlines.
Alisha Abdullah is the only Indian woman super bike racer. She was winning Go-Karting races from the time she was just eleven. Recently she became the first Indian woman to get a podium finish in an international Motorsport competition, the Toyota VIOS cup held in 2014.