‘The best part of being a trained driver is being seen as being equal to a man. Driving is seen as a man’s job and women are not trusted to do it. But my friends know about it and agree that it is a very brave thing for a girl to do. We change tyres in the middle of the road, like men do, and we don’t care who is looking at us.’ Saroj, Sakha driver trained by Azad.
‘I am so thankful to Azad for giving me so much support and guidance regarding women’s rights and sensitivity towards women’s issues. Azad was and is the only source of motivation for me since I’ve joined it.’ Aarti Devi, Sakha driver trained by Azad.
The impact of the Women on Wheels programme needs to be understood not only in numbers but more importantly in the depth of change it brings to trained women, their families and communities.
The depth of change
The transformation towards empowerment the Women on Wheels trainees achieve is irreversible. The programme enables women to identify the power within themselves. Once they connect with it, there is no going back. Furthermore, the benefits of the programme reach out to their children – girl children particularly, making an inter-generational impact of far reaching consequences.
Majority of women who complete the programme become principle breadwinners in their families. They are financially independent and empowered to make their own decisions. Many women decide to continue with their studies and are able to support education of their children and other family members. Others take on the responsibility for looking after health issues of their mothers or other family members – taking them for treatment, liaising with doctors and ensuring care. Some women were able to invest in a property in their own name to secure their future.
The women who are undertaking the programme and those working as commercial drivers inspire other women to also take on non-traditional professions and become autonomous and economically independent. Read our stories of courage to learn more.
Since the beginning of our journey up until March 2016 we have:
- Reached more than 500,000 women and families in slums through our outreach and mobilization work in 24 areas
- Supported more than 3,000 women to acquire identification papers
- Enabled over 700 women to get employed as professional chauffeurs
- Brought nearly 300 professional women drivers to the market
Majority of women who join our programme come from families that live on $1.50 – 3 per day. Once employed as commercial drivers, women earn salaries between $100-165 per month, leading to more than 200% increase in their family incomes.
Download our 2012/2013 annual report to learn more.
Download our 2014/2015 annual report to learn more.