A support group for women auto drivers

Members of Enayum Kaikal lend each other a helping hand and a patient ear

A WhatsApp group titled ‘Enayum Kaikal’ has been bringing many women autorickshaw drivers in Chennai together. An autorickshaw driver from Perambur, P.V. Raji Ashok — known as Raji akka — started the group two years ago.

“There are nearly 240 women drivers in Enayum Kaikal, spread across two WhatsApp groups,” says Raji, adding that these groups are managed by six admins. Besides the get-together on Women’s Day and social services, the larger objective of Enayum Kaikal is to lend each other a helping hand in a crisis.

For instance, when an auto had a breakdown, a message about it is shared in the group so that any of the fellow drivers could reach the spot and offer help. Details of accidents are also shared.

“Sometimes, we pitch in by transferring the money the person may need to deal with the emergency,” says Raji who also runs a trust and a website by the same name.

Last year, during the lockdown, she delivered groceries to many needy families.

Another role played by the admins in the group is motivating women to drive the auto on a regular basis. Raji says some women are not regular to work due to commitments at home.

“Some cannot repay the loan if they do not drive on a regular basis, so we push them to do so, sharing inspirational stories from our lives,” says Raji, who has been an auto driver since 2014.

As part of Enayum Kaikal Trust, she supports seven underprivelaged children.

“I started by helping three children and now we have another four. A few of them are physically challenged,” says the 49-year-old grandmother.

Raji also offers free rides to women at night, and to government school children, while on the way to her work.

You can follow Raji on her Facebook page raji.ashok.332

Source: Read Full Article