Shanti. A role model for her daughters

Azad Foundation India-women cab driver

Today, Shanti is a commercial chauffer with Sakha. Quite and confident she inspires confidence in her clients and is a role model for her three daughters who she is bringing up as a single mother. Shanti’s husband walked out on her and her daughters a few years ago. Shanti was relieved when this happened as it was better to be without a husband and without a father than to be with one who was violent. Shanti and her daughters suffered from unpredictable bouts of his rage almost on daily basis.

After he left Shanti, who had studied only up to class X, desperately tried to look for a job…any job that would help her sustain herself and her family. However, the jobs she was able to find were erratic, without guarantee, nor leave, not much salary and long hours of work, making it tough for her to manage.

One day her friend told her about Azad Foundation. As Shanti says, she joined Azad to come and learn about driving. But she found a space where she learnt about so much more. In her gender classes especially, she found an opportunity to reflect on her own experiences and realised that she had different choices in life. Through counselling sessions she was able to slowly build an understanding in how she needed to handle her personal challenges.

Eventually, with her own hard work and support from Azad, she gained professional competence and then took up an employment as a chauffeur. She was employed by a visually impaired woman and worked with her for more than a year before joining Sakha as a commercial driver.