I could make the decision because it was my money and my commitment to my sister.
Before joining Azad, Sunita had worked in a factory, but the job was neither remunerative nor satisfying. When she started training her mother was working as a domestic worker and her father was a cycle rickshaw driver, together earning about Rs 11,000. However, expenses rose as her elder sister got widowed and developed severe mental health problems and came to live with them. Around this time her father fell ill and was unable to work. Her mother had to give up her job as a maid and take full time care of her mentally ill and recently widowed daughter. Thankfully, Sunita got herfirst driving jobas instructor in Maruti Suzuki Premier Car World at this point. Her income of Rs. 7000 pulled her family through this crisis.
Money were very tight with Sunita being the only earner in the family, but still she managed to buy a gas stove which made cooking much easier. Her main love is her younger sister whom she wants to support in studying: “I want to support her education and give her all the tuition she needs for as long as I can. I want to give her all that I did not get.”She has also been able to buy little pieces of jewelry for her younger sister: ‘I really wanted to gift my sister some jewelry. If I did not have the job, I could not have done it. My parents would never have agreed to spending money in this way.But I could make the decision because it was my money and my commitment to my sister.
Sunita now wants to study further. Having studied till class 5 only, she feels that if she wants to grow in her profession and become a commercial driver, she must study.
Sunita’s biggest support is her father who supported her decision to join Azad and become professional driver, unlike her mother who did not agree. Neighborstoo used to discourage Sunita, telling her that driving is not a job for a woman. Now all that has changed. “Everyone is proud of me now. My friends, my mother’s friends – all say that Sunita has done what many educated people could not. So many of our boys are not able to get into such a good company. Sunita has achieved this. She is the pride of our community”.
Sunita shares about her experiences of working: ‘We know that generally menget paid more for the same job in comparison to women. In the Maruti Suzuki Car World where I work, the reverse happened. My salary has been higher from the start than that received by male instructors!”, her face lighting up talking about how the scales have turned in favour of the woman, at least once.
When asked about marriage, Sunita is very clear: “Why marry? I see all around me that marriages always lead to tensions and violence, be it love marriage or arranged marriage. Earlier I could not understand this properly. Now I know about gender, laws, patriarchy. Why should I willingly go into something that will cause tension? I just want to support family and my sister. What is the guarantee that my husband will stay by me and care for me? So many people get married, and then separated. Don’t they lead single lives too?”
Every day we meet many underprivileged women like Sunita, who dream of liberating themselves from poverty, violence and the world of restrictions. Women who want to build a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones. They want to be able to do this themselves, but need your help. Donate now to liberate women.