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Khushi Prajapati (screen grab)
Khushi Prajapati (screen grab)


Female taxi driver in India says profession gave her confidence and a way out of poverty

By WITW Staff on February 10, 2016

When Khushi Prajapati moved to Delhi with her family, they had lost their home, were facing poverty, and were on the run from debtors — one of whom threatened to kill her father for money he owed. Prajapati never expected to go out and earn a living as a professional taxi driver, but an all-women’s cab company run by the Azad Foundation taught her how to earn a living. And though her father was initially skeptical, telling her, “girls don’t drive,” she now supports her family on the income she earns.

The video was produced by the foundation and the American Jewish World Service to show how women in Indian society can lead professional lives and avoid child marriage, a practice the AJWS hopes to end. Prajapati explains that she has no interest in marrying right now because she would prefer to keep succeeding at her career.

Azad is able to train low-income women with limited education to become taxi drivers. (Azad Foundation)
Azad is able to train low-income women with limited education to become taxi drivers. (Azad Foundation)

“If my father did not change and if we still lived in our village I guess I would be married by now, but now I am doing work that most girls do not. Maybe that’s why my family doesn’t pressure me to marry,” she says. “Right now I absolutely don’t want to marry. I want to be successful at this profession and do not want any pressure from my family.”

Her profession, she says, has given her confidence and the ambition to earn enough money to restore her family’s previous lifestyle.

“What I do now is a profession. I get so much respect. When I sit inside a car and drive I feel very proud of myself that I could learn this work and be so successful,” she says.

The Azad Foundation’s taxi service focuses specifically on providing taxis for women, driven by women, in order to help them feel safer commuting around the city at night.

Read more at the Azad Foundation and the American Jewish World Service.