September 9th, 2015
We came across several cases of women drivers who were forced to drive off roads due to the constant harassment and taunts from their male counterparts.
In Chennai, since March 2014, many women took to driving auto rickshaws in the city. Kanchana Bhaskar is one of the few women who got this opportunity.
She too faced a lot of harassment by male auto-drivers who even went to the extent of assaulting if the argument gets heated. Sometimes, her keys were thrown if they were left in the auto. The tyres of her auto were also punctured.
Since women commuters prefer the auto-rickshaws driven by women, the threat of less income makes the male drivers apprehensive.
“The men drivers say if more and more of you start driving the rickshaws, what will happen to our incomes?” said Kanchana Bhaskar.
Despite regular nuisance, Kanchana has managed to continue with her profession without letting the problems obstruct her profession. Rickshaw companies have reported that with the onset of a new month, a stupendous rise in the number of women drivers has been witnessed.