Meet JK’s First Female Auto Driver

SRINAGAR: A 21-year-old woman from the Udhampur district in Jammu and Kashmir is making news for breaking gender stereotypes and her sheer determination. The young woman is being praised by many for her decision to drive an auto-rickshaw and support her father in earning family income.

Banjeet Kaur

Banjeet Kaur took to the roads to earn a living after her father lost his job as a school bus driver when schools got closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of that, her father started driving an auto-rickshaw to support the family but he was not able to earn much.

It was then that Banjeet came out to help her father and learned to drive the auto-rickshaw along with her sister, Davinder Kaur, during the lockdown imposed by the government to spread the control of the pandemic.

ANI quoted Banjeet as saying, “My father was a school bus driver but he lost his job as the schools remain closed due to COVID-19. He started driving auto-rickshaw but he was not able to earn sufficient. So I stepped in.”

Banjeet said that she had not left her studies and driving an auto-rickshaw was just her part-time job. She is a second-year student and aspires to join defence.

“We girls should be ready for every situation,” she said in regards to the situation.

Their father, Sardar Gorakh Singh, told ANI that the girls could excel in any field and their choice of profession depended on their will.

“After I lost my job during the lockdown, my daughters asked me to teach them to drive auto-rickshaw. I supported them,” he added.

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Banjeet’s story became an inspiration for many and they praised her for her skills and choices.

Newsagency ANI quoted Rachana Sharma, Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO), Udhampur, as saying, “Girls like Banjeet Kaur, who is driving auto-rickshaw to support her father, is an example for society. When I was transferred as ARTO at Udhampur, I started a campaign called ‘Girls can drive’ under which several girls were trained to drive.”


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