KARIMNAGAR: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Reddimalla Sangeetha Rani, Karimnagar’s 25-year-old auto driver and one of the first women to do so, is a perfect example of this saying. A resident of Subash Nagar in Karimnagar city, Sangeetha is the sole bread earner of the family of three women — Sangeetha, her mother and her daughter.
A widowed Sangeetha had a rough marriage and had to divorce her husband. A few years after the separation, her husband, Raju died of ill health. Sangeetha was a worker at a private hospital at the time. But soon she ran out of money and lost the shelter as well. Always fond of driving a scooter, Sangeetha decided to drive an auto rickshaw for a living and soon after shifted in with her mother.
Speaking about her experience as a woman in what can be considered a male-dominated industry, she says, “There are some passengers who harass me in different ways but most of them—both men or women—encourage me and my work. ” Sangeetha keeps going for her daughter’s sake and wants to educate the young girl so she can easily get a job. “I want my baby girl to get the best education. I do not want her to suffer like me.”
She now plies the auto from 8 am to 10 pm. She earns a daily wage of `700, `400 of which goes to the owner of the auto rickshaw. Now, her only dream is to own an auto rickshaw. “I have run from pillar to post, and I have submitted applications to the grievance cells at collectorates, but in vain,” she laments.