One of our usual days in Delhi: we were watching the traffic and trying to escape from the heat,
with one difference:
Between all the cars and buses with male-drivers, there was one strong woman driving the bus number 345: Delhi’s one and only female bus driver.
There she was, short hair, jeans and shirt, smiling at us: Saritha. She was the pure coolness.
By attending her bus on her route, both ways, we saw her in her calmness. She somehow seemed to be above the stressful and chaotic atmosphere of the streets and crowded bus.
While she was taking her break, we asked her about her own experiences as a female driver. It was an interesting and long talk. She really let us know personal details about her life and wishes for the future. She was born as a girl in quite poor conditions. Her father raised her as if she was a boy, because he had no sons. That’s why she got used to wearing short hair, even though it is unusual for a woman in India. When she was old enough to go for it, she went to a training of Azad Foundation (now you might know, how we connected) to become a bus driver. It was an enormous change for her whole family, when she got the job as a driver. Saritha started making money to support her family and steer her life, as she is steering the bus. “What is your most important wish for the future?” , we asked her. “Getting a permanent job as a bus driver!”, she told us happily.
Later on, after saying good bye to Saritha, we took another mean of transport to get back to our friend`s home: the Delhi Metro.
Delhi’s first metro line opened in 2002 as a consequence of heavy traffic and the huge air pollution, that was no longer manageable, caused by that. 25% of daily 2.2 million metro passengers in Delhi are women. That’s the reason why they built separate women coaches that are reserved for them only. Sexual harassment decreased and women got the new freedom of wearing whatever they want. Read more here:
Women coaches on Delhi Metro and the one and only female bus driver on the streets of this city: Examples of ideas that pave the way for more independence and safetyss for women in India.
We like! ;)