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Binota’s daily routine starts from DDA Laal Batti to Govindpuri metro station.

(Photo: Ahmad Belal)

In Photos: Following Around Delhi’s First Female E-Rickshaw Driver

Binota Gayen, a 44-year-old wife and mother from Kolkata, took to e-rickshaw driving after an injury.

3 min read

Meet Binota Gayen, a 44-year-old wife and mother from Kolkata. Last year, she became the first female e-rickshaw driver in Delhi’s Govindpuri area, and has since inspired several other women to take up this profession.

It may sound thrilling to others, but for Binota it was an accident. She suffered an injury in June 2015 while riding a bicycle when her knee ligaments were damaged. Before the accident, she worked as a housemaid. She used to ride a bicycle to work everyday, but the injury changed her life.

Following the accident, her husband Santosh Gayen, a driver, suggested that even she should choose driving as a profession. She took a loan of Rs 1 lakh from a bank, and invested the money on an e-rickshaw.

Talking about her journey, she said, “In the beginning, other male drivers used to taunt me and tried their best to stop me from driving. Once, they even called up the police.”

Binota remained determined and tackled every obstacle. “I have a driving license and an e-rickshaw is a zero permit vehicle. Nobody can stop me from driving.” She replied to the police.

Seeing her grit, now the other male drivers also support her.

Binota’s day starts at 5:30 am. She cooks food for her husband and daughter and leaves for work at 7 am. She comes back home by 1:30 pm, picking her daughter on the way. Her daughter, Kritika Gayen, 13, studies in 8th standard. She leaves again in the evening to driver her e-rickshaw, and works till 8:30 in the night.

She lives in Balmiki Mohalla, Tughlaqabad village, in a one-bedroom house with her husband and her only daughter. “My house lacks a proper boundary wall and because of that thieves jump over the wall often. An incident like this happened just two days ago. I am saving money so that this problem can be solved as soon as possible,” said Binota.

Her daily income is Rs 650-700. She and her husband both contribute in paying off the loan they took for the construction of their house and the e-rickshaw. “We have to pay Rs 10,000 a month for the house and Rs 2,200 a month for the e-rickshaw,” said Binota while waiting for some passengers.

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