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How being an autorickshaw driver for last 19 yrs transformed this Kochi woman’s life 

Jaya K. Photo By: M S Amritha

This 51-year-old woman has scripted a new narrative of determination and independence by navigating the roads of Kochi as an autorickshaw driver for the last 19 years. Jaya K of Unichira in Kochi became an auto driver at a time when the profession was largely dominated by men.

Though Jaya has the job of a part-time sweeper at Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, she decided to drive an autorickshaw to productively use her time during the day from 12 noon to 6:30 pm after finishing her part-time sweeper job at the university.

“I realized that in order to secure a better future for myself and my family, I needed to step out of my comfort zone and embrace change. Learning to drive an autorickshaw was daunting at first, but with perseverance and dedication, I was able to overcome the challenges,” Jaya told “Open Digest.”

Furthermore, her perseverance and grit motivated her husband Suresh, a building painting worker, to also learn autorickshaw driving and become a full-time auto-driver for the last 15 years. “In those days, it wasn’t easy to take up a job which was only done by men. Many questioned me. But I was determined,” Jaya said.

Over the years, Jaya’s hard work paid off. She honed her driving skills, navigating through Kochi’s chaotic traffic with finesse and confidence. With each passing day, she gained the respect of her peers and passengers alike. In fact, the job of an autorickshaw driver changed her life, giving her more financial stability. It gave her a sense of independence and self-reliance, instilling in her a newfound confidence.

Jaya K

Through her dedication and determination, Jaya shattered gender stereotypes and inspired other women to pursue their dreams fearlessly.

For Jaya, being an autorickshaw driver was more than just a job; it was a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. It enabled her to support her family financially, providing her children with opportunities she never had. Though both of her daughters are married and well off, Jaya doesn’t want to give up autorickshaw driving.

“I love being financially independent and the flexibility of work time this job offers. I never had any bad experience being an auto driver in Kochi. In fact, this job gave me more financial stability,” Jaya added.

Today, as Jaya reflects on her journey, she takes pride in how far she has come. In the bustling streets of Kochi, Jaya’s autorickshaw stands not just as a mode of transportation but as a testament to the power of determination and resilience.

One Comment

  1. Anonymous February 2, 2024

    Jaya teacher ❤️

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