“Whether it is the middle of the night or an insufferably hot afternoon, I never refuse a ride to a woman. Even after my 8-9 hour shift has ended,” says the 48-year-old Raji who has been driving an auto for 20 years now!
I get many calls from women to go to Chennai airport, or from women working late shifts. I accept all the requests. My only condition is that they book the ride at least one hour in advance so I can schedule them,” she explains.
Raji, fondly known as Raji Akka by women she has ferried safely, has been working a 9-hour shift daily for the last 20 years. Raji offers free rides to young kids, senior citizens and those women who may not have the cab fare to pay.
Women who ride with her have come to know Raji very well, and they understand her request for booking rides in advance. She completes almost 30 trips every day! Today, Raji earns between Rs 30,000-40,000 monthly.
“Over the past few years, I have given motivational talks in over 13 colleges in Chennai. I also give free auto driving lessons to women interested in joining this profession. This is a great occupation for women, and I want to encourage more ladies to drive autos professionally,” she says.