Source: The Hindu | Image Courtesy:citizenmatters The Hindu
After a tough 30 years of life, Lakshmi, a cleaner in Bengaluru is set to prove it’s never too late to realize a larger purpose. Lakshmi will soon be the first female garbage truck driver of Bengaluru.
Married at an early age to an alcoholic, and the mother of three, Lakshmi worked as a member of the housekeeping staff in Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences. Accompanying a neighbour to Hasiru Dala was what got her noticed. Hasiru Dala is a non-governmental organisation working on solid waste management and disposal. They helped Lakshmi get driving lessons, and acquire a licence.
Lakshmi is currently undergoing training in waste management and heavy vehicle driving. Though initially apprehensive of getting behind the wheel, she made an effort, and now awaits her licence to drive a commercial vehicle. She will soon be seen riding the roads of Bengaluru in her one tonne truck carrying segregated solid waste.
Soubhagya, a Hasiru Dala coordinator, said Lakshmi is ideal for the job as she “is very brave and can read English”. Also, they have plans for enrolling Lakshmi in an open school to complete her schooling and further boost her confidence. Arrangements have been made for Lakshmi’s children too. Her 15 year old daughter who had to drop out of school and help sort out waste has now been admitted to a tailoring course, while her sons aged 10 and 12, have been enrolled in residential school.
The Logical Indian wishes Lakshmi all the very best for her future and we are sure Lakshmi will inspire a few men and women who are jittery behind the wheels.