Pune resident Vaishali Raskar decided to start driving auto rickshaw, as her husband’s earnings were not enough to meet the financial needs of the family
In 2002, Vaishali Raskar stormed a male bastion when she decided to start driving an auto rickshaw, in order to meet the financial needs of her family.
Now, 12 years later, she runs a tours and travels business with her husband and has managed to take care of her family. However, life had not always been easy for Vaishali, who had to leave her three kids at home to earn money.
“Back then, my husband was driving a school bus, but his earnings were not enough for the family, so I decided to offer a helping hand,” said Vaishali, who in 2002 started taking school children in her auto.
The mother of three admits that it was not easy for her to work in a male-dominated field, as she faced a lot of opposition from her in-laws.
“However, my husband not only supported me, he also taught me how to drive,” said Vaishali, whose career decision was also initially opposed by her eldest daughter, Shrutika.
“I used to feel awkward, and didn’t even share with my friends that my mother drove an auto. However, when they found out, instead of teasing me about it, they appreciated her courage for taking up the job. Most of my friends consider her a role model,” said Shrutika, who is currently pursuing first year BSc from a reputed college of the city.
Aside from the initial resistance from her family, Vaishali says she never experienced discrimination in her field. “It could be because my driving was limited to carrying school children. Whenever I had any difficulty, my male colleagues were always there to help me,” she said.
With the help of her husband, Vaishali started a tours and travels company in 2010 that provides buses and autos to schools in Pune. “While we have drivers, I still prefer driving an auto; it has become my passion,” said Vaishali.