BALASORE: The first female auto-rickshaw driver of Balasore town, Madhumita Bindhani, has emerged as an inspiration for women, deserted by their husbands. The 29-year-old, a resident of Gandhali village in Badasahi block in Mayurbhanj district has successfully broken stereotypes and transcended barriers by making a mark in the male-dominated profession. Educated till Class VII and married at the age of 15, she was deserted by her husband before he got married to another girl.
“Although I am from a poor family, I never lost hope after being deserted by my husband. I took charge of my life and always fought with what I had. In a society where women are oppressed, a woman needs guts to stand up for herself,” she said. After finishing household chores and sending her children to school, she drives her auto-rickshaw and drops her passengers at their respective destinations within 60 km radius of the town.
Madhumita, who has been driving the auto-rickshaw for the last nine months, has a dedicated customer base and most of them are women, who prefer travelling in her vehicle due to her good behaviour and driving skills. She does not hesitate offering free rides to poor and needy people. Madhumita’s dream is to educate her two children. “I want to ensure my children pursue higher education and for this I am ready to drive for a few extra hours as it would fetch me more money. She earns Rs 10,000 a month by driving the auto-rickshaw and says she has been accepted by people and nobody misbehaves with her.