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After a good shopping day on November 14, 2016, I booked an uber ride to go home from liberty. Meanwhile, a rickshaw stopped just seconds after with a woman in driving seat. I had heard about pink rickshaw scheme but to actually see a woman driving on the roads of Lahore was a totally different feeling. I was so excited to see a female driver that I canceled my Uber ride and decided to go with her.
Meet Ansa Naureen, first female rickshaw driver I have ever seen in my entire life. She is one of the five rickshaw drivers currently on road, while 3 are under training. A mother of two, Naureen has bought this rickshaw on easy installments from the NGO (The Pink Rickshaw Scheme)
After deciding location and fare, I sat in the rickshaw (like a boss) and We had a good talk. It’s been a year since she is driving and gave me an advice “ kuch na honay se kuch hona behtar hai ” that’s why I don’t quit.
She further told me, male rickshaw drivers irritate her and constantly create hurdles (they don’t let her stand at a place near them) but she is determined to work. I also observed this, while we were discussing fare, a male rickshaw driver came right by us and started listening to our conversation. Few more accompanied him, some even said, baji kidher jana hai ?
It was my first experience. I had all type of questions in mind. Do I really need to go with her? A female rickshaw driver? Would it be safe with her since we are only two women? What if the rickshaw gets stuck in the middle of the road. Gladly, none of that happened. She was driving quite efficiently like she knew the roads.
The basic aim to ride with her was to observe public’s reaction. While crossing roads or even on signals people just saw us, some surprised, some gave expressions like ‘oh look a female rickshaw driver’ but not one soul passed any odd comment. I was home safe and sound and asked her If could take her picture to which she agreed.
Here’s her journey.
I regretted that I could not take her number, But from the NGO’s page I found out that recently she has received Token of Appreciation from LUMS.
More Power to You, Ma’am!