Yellamma drives a rented auto for a living in Bengaluru when not preparing for the IAS exam
In the frenzy that is Bengaluru’s traffic, the 22-year-old Yellamma drives an autorickshaw while she prepares for the Indian Administrative Service examinations.
Forced to marry a flower decorator when she was 18, Yellamma is now a single mother with a two-year-old boy. The gritty woman rented an autorickshaw and learnt to drive it with her brother-in-law’s help.
Autorickshaw owners refused to rent a vehicle because they won’t give one to a woman. A mechanic finally agreed to rent me an auto for 130 per day,” Yellamma says.
She drives from 6 am to 8 pm and wastes no time between two trips, devouring magazines and newspapers in her free time. She is studying for her PUC although her ultimate goal is the IAS. Why? “Because I want to help other women.
Yellamma says that she encounters a strange hostility from male autorickshaw drivers. ” “They say I’m snatching their customers away.
Passengers have been good to her. “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.” Yellamma earns Rs 700-800 a day and is left with almost half of that after paying for the auto’s rent and fuel.
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