17 Feb 2016

WOW Behind the Scenes : Pinki

These are the stories of WOW Mobilisers from Youth Resource Cells. Mobilisers are youth leaders who are specially trained to help community women join the Women on Wheels programme. The stories are meant to capture both the challenges and strategies involved in working behind the scenes. Some names have been changed to protect the identities of people involved.

Pinki, founder member:YRC Alor Sandhan
WOW Mobiliser [mobilised 6 of the 9 women
in the 1st WOW batch]
Read her earlier post
I've known Sandhya since i was very little. She was rarely home because she worked in Delhi all those years. I later found that she was engaged as a domestic care-giver since she was 11 years old. She's 22 now.

When I approached Sandhya with this news about women chauffeurs, she was really excited to join the training programme at first. But then she got very upset and worried when I told her that passing Class VIII was a minimum requirement. I found out more about this and assured her that if she was confident, then that rule could be relaxed for her as a special case.

Her family however was completely against her training, and created a lot of pressure for her to stop. Her father, an alcoholic, was keen to send her back to her earlier workplace in Delhi, because for him that was assured steady money for the family. Even though my team and I repeatedly tried to counsel and explain to him, Sandhya's father frequently beat her up. He would say “She has no basic education, does not ever know the roads properly... how will she drive? Driving is not a good profession for her”. One day, my parents and I had to rush to Sandhya's place