Mumbai: Indian women have recently started to drive auto rickshaws in the coastal city of Mumbai as part of a government scheme aimed at empowering them. Recently 19 women have newly started their job of transporting passengers through the jammed and congested streets of the financial capital in their new three-wheelers.

A 45-year-old woman is one of Mumbai’s first female auto rickshaw drivers who made use of a government scheme which aims at empowering women. Chaya Mohite, who recently started riding auto rickshaws in the financial capital of India – Mumbai.

“This job is much better than doing household work. I can make more money and it helps us secure our futures,” one of Mumbai’s first female auto rickshaw drivers Chaya Mohite told AFP.

The mother of three has spent the past two months learning how to drive at a training centre in Mumbai’s eastern suburbs and is thrilled with her new skills and financial prospects.

mumbai first female auto drivers

“I couldn’t even ride a bicycle but today I can drive an auto rickshaw. I’m independent and it makes me happy,” says Mohite, who hopes to earn 1,000 rupees a day.

The services which has already  started in Thane last year but Mohite and her new colleagues, who will sport white lab-coat-like uniforms, are the first to ply the streets of India’s most populated metropolis.

“I’ve taught them the A to Z of auto-rickshaw driving. They are now experts and have passed an official RTO (Regional Transport Office) test,” Sudhir Dhoipode, the women’s instructor, told AFP

Scheme introduced by the state government of Maharashtra

Five per cent of rickshaw permits are reserved for women.

According to the plan announced in 2016, 465 licenses were provided to women in Mumbai  and Thane.

Unlike similar program in New Delhi where some pink autos are driven by women for women, Mumbai drivers take both male and female passengers. Women drivers are thrilled with financial prospects.