She is just 22 but her dedication and determination will astonish you. This story is of a 22-year-old single mother Yellamma, who drives an auto rickshaw to support herself and her family while she prepares for IAS exams. Yellamma who hails from Banglore was forced to marry when she was 18-years-old, and at the age of 20, she gave birth to a boy. She is now a single mother.
She rented an autorickshaw and learnt to drive it with help from her brother-in-law. She faced trouble when looking for an auto; most owners refused to rent her a vehicle citing her gender as reason. One mechanic finally agreed to rent her an auto for Rs. 130 per day.
Yellamma drives the autorickshaw from 6am to 8pm. Since this leaves her with very little free time, in between fares, she studies for her exams, and reads newspapers and magazines to prepare herself for the Indian Administrative Services, through which she wants to help other women.
While Yellamma faces hostility from male autorickshaw drivers, who have ridiculous concerns about her ‘snatching their customers,’ her passengers are generally curious about her story. “They are curious and ask me to narrate my story. They encourage me to study on and even pay Rs 10-20 over and above the meter”, she says as quoted by Economic Times.
Yellamma earns Rs 700-800 a day and is left with almost half of that after paying for the auto’s rent and fuel.
Challenges in life either make you or break you. Her grit and determination is something from which we should all learn.