Kathmandu, July 6:
The women autorikshaw drivers are making considerable earnings by driving the passenger three wheelers in the thoroughfares of the Kathmandu Valley.
The women drivers, according to sources, usually make around Rs. 6000 to 17,000 per month. With such a considerable income, these drivers have set an example for many Nepali women who sit idle cursing themselves for being unemployed, said one of the drivers.
Although, driving profession is regarded as an occupation for males of the society, some women have proved themselves as successful professionals. Some of these women drivers said that they had been making a fine balance between their job and household works.
After starting earning income by driving the three wheelers, the families and relatives after have started treating them well, they said.
Chilmaya Rai, 30, of Sidhupalchok said that she was earning Rs. 11,000 per month by the driving a tempo. "I am supporting my husband economically and making some savings too each month," Rai said.
She added that she was not compelled to adopt the profession as her husband’s earning was enough to manage the family’s expenses. "But I wanted to make some savings for my children," she said.
She suggested many of Nepali women who want to go to Gulf countries for earning a monthly salary of Rs.10,000 to 15,000 not to go abroad because "we can earn around Rs. 20,000 per month here in Nepal if we work a little bit more," she said.
Sangita Kunwar, 23, of Kavre, is a regular in the profession for the past seven years. She gets Rs. 9,000 in salary per month along with some bonuses, she revealed.
Although, this profession is significantly supporting the women to make their earning, they feel bad when some of the members of the society raise questions.
"Some raise questions on the character of the women tempo drivers unnecessarily. Such attitude discourages us and spoils our image," Kunwar said.
She said that she began the profession by compulsion because of illiteracy and poverty but now she was happy with the job. "I save 50 per cent of my income monthly," she said.
Bimala Shrestha, 27, of Ramechhap is an example of ideal woman in her society because of the profession. She bought a tempo on installment basis and is driving her own tempo. She said that she earned around Rs. 14,000- Rs 17,000 per month.
"My family loves me more while I am able to earn some money by driving the tempo" said Shrestha.
Gamala Lama, 26, of Kavre is another tempo driver who takes her three wheelers on the route from National Airlines Corporation (NAC) at New Road to Swayambhu. She earns around Rs. 10,000 per month. She is in the profession for the past six years. She begins her duty at 4:30 am and continues till 6 pm.
"I am satisfied with my profession. I give my 50 per cent of salary to my husband to manage the households and save another 50 per cent at my bank account," Lama added.
(Acharya is an Intern)