Chandni. From sewing to driving

Azad Foundation India-women cab driver

My name is Chandni, and I have studied up to the 10th standard. I live in Govindpuri, Navjeevan camp.

At the age of four, I migrated from my village with my parents to New Delhi. In the women’s community centre, I learnt embroidery and sewing. I heard about Azad here. I also attended its street play. It was then that I realized it was possible to do something new. Something that would be different. Soon after I registered myself at Azad Foundation.

The course was rigorous yet exciting. Going to Maruti IDTR at Sarai Kale Khan was a matter of pride. We received hands-on experience on different cars, used simulators, and were given practical training on the roads as well. We were trained for self-defence by the Delhi Police and improved our manners by attending communication classes. We were exposed to many other topics such as women’s rights, empowerment, and sexual and reproductive health.

I now have courage and confidence in myself. I remember how timid I was before I joined Azad. Earlier I was scared even to get into a bus, but now my day begins at 6.30 am and I return home by 10.30 pm. I love to drive and be independent. To earn on my own is now my passion. I have been working now for almost a year and I earn Rs. 4500/- every month. If I work extra hours above my agreed time, I earn overtime and sometimes when it gets late; my employers give me money to go home in a cab. I am thrilled to be earning so much. I have started a recurring deposit and have also appeared for my Class XII exams this year.

My parents have always being supportive. I am now confident that wherever I am, even under the most distressing circumstances, I can sail through!