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Shimla women break gender barriers by driving their way to entrepreneurship

Think Change India
12th Jun 2017
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In a few years from now, maybe, just maybe, we will not make jokes on seeing a woman driving a four-wheeler. Shimla’s Rural Self-Employment Training Institute (RSETI) has decided to take one step in that direction by providing driving classes to women and make them entrepreneurs.

In an attempt to make women self-reliant and thereby empowered, a batch of 21 women ranging from college students to housewives are going through the training. According to The Hindustan Times, Suman Lata, part of the programme, said,

“Our patriarchal society pokes fun at the mere mention of female drivers…It’s not easy for women to break social barriers and think about living independently. A woman in the driver’s seat is a symbol of social change.”

For her, joining the classes meant taking a lot of heat from home. For another woman, Nisha Garg, a housewife, learning to drive is imperative to help her husband in the business and she wants to become an entrepreneur and help others follow her path.

Image: Claudio Montesano Casillas

According to The India Times, Sangeeta Thakur said,

"I will encourage other girls from my area to come out of their respective homes and work towards being financially independent. I am learning to drive in the pursuit of becoming self-reliant.”

The training institute is managed with the help of the Government of India and the State governments. Spread across the country, the aim is to help solve the unemployment problem among rural women.

Twenty-one women were selected from a list of 100 applicants to take part in the month-long training. Shimla deputy commissioner RC Thakur hit upon this idea when they started receiving a lot of complaints about drivers charging unfairly and behaving rudely.

Training women would ensure that women travellers can take cabs without any restraints.

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