“There are plenty of other things women do exceptionally well – driving just ain’t one of them” is one of the many jokes in cyberspace on female drivers. However, in reality there has been a steep increase in the number of women drivers in the city over the last few years. According to Transport Department statistics, 48,328 drivers’ licences were issued to women in Bangalore city between April 2012 and March 2013, 40,959 licences were issued from April 2013 to January 2014.
On the eve of International Women’s Day, The Hindu spoke to some women drivers on how they managed to break the stereotype.
Winners on road
Girija S. (35) is an autorickshaw driver who has been driving on the Banashankari and Jayanagar route for the past two years.
To a query on how people react to her being an autorickshaw driver, she said has got a lot of encouragement from many. “There are some who will not appreciate such efforts simply because a woman has been able to accomplish it. But I believe they are not in the majority,” she says.
Taxi driver Veerath Bharathi (37) of Angel City Cabs has been driving for the last eight years. Bharathi says many male taxi drivers don’t give way just because she is a woman. On driving skills, she says: “It depends on the skill of the person and not whether the driver is a man or woman.”
Only one in State
Prema Ramappa Nadapatti (36) is the only woman bus driver in Karnataka. She drives a BMTC bus on the Majestic-Jayanagar route. “Women are definitely capable of driving even heavy vehicles. All we require is the right kind of training,” she says.