Deogarh: She created a sensation among male drivers and some even scoffed at her when she started going to the auto-rickshaw stand to park her vehicle alongside theirs.
Life has been a rough ride for Deogarh’s first lady auto-rickshaw driver Raj Kishori Tete, 36, of Tileaibani block in Jajpur district, but instead of wallowing in self-pity, she girdled herself and fought back.
In a heart-warming conversation with ‘Orissa POST’, Raj Kishori Tete said, “I come from a very poor family, but I never lost hope. I took charge of my life and always fought with what I had.”
Raj Kishori says that in a society which oppresses women, a woman needs guts to stand up for herself.
After finishing domestic chores and sending her children to school and seeing off her husband, she drives her auto-rickshaw to Deogarh bus stand. She picks up passengers from there and drops them at their destinations like the hospital or the police station.
In our society being poor is considered a handicap. And if you happen to be a woman, that’s the final nail in the coffin. But Raj Kishori refused to accept that. From a life of poverty and hardships to being the first ever woman auto-rickshaw driver of the district, she overcame disadvantages to thrash out a living.
Raj Kishori’s husband Anthoni Tete is a bus driver. But his income is like a drop in the ocean as his employer does not pay him regularly. This made Raj Kishori stand up to fight the poverty of her family.
Raj Kishori’s dream is to educate her two children and enable them to come up in life. “I want to provide higher education to my children and for this I am ready to do whatever is possible,” she said.
She started supporting her family by driving the auto-rickshaw four months ago. Raj Kishori earns Rs 300 to Rs 400 a day, which is enough for her family.
She says that when she started driving the auto-rickshaw it looked odd, but now everyone accepts her profession. No one misbehaves with her when she drives the auto-rickshaw.
Raj Kishori’s life is not just an inspiration, but an example which shows that whatever the hurdles, life is what you make of it.