J&K girl, 21, takes up auto rickshaw driver's job after father loses livelihood due to pandemic, wins hearts on Internet

A screengrab from a YouTube video

A 21-year-old girl from Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir whose father lost his job as a bus driver in the wake of prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, has taken the Internet by storm for breaking gender stereotypes after she started driving an auto rickshaw to support her family.

Banjeet Kaur, a college student, took to roads along with her sister Davinder Kaur with the auto rickshaw bought by their father after he lost job as a bus driver at a local school when the pandemic forced closure of educational institutions, reported DNA.

Although Banjeet’s father, Sardar Gorakh Singh started to drive the autorickshaw by himself early on, he could not earn much prompting Banjeet to take up the job, she said. 

The teenager has ensured that the new job does not come at the cost of her studies.  “I have not left studies and driving an auto-rickshaw is only a part-time job,” Banjeet, a second-year student, who aspires to join defence, said. 

She said that girls should be ready for every situation especially in the wake of the pandemic. 

Her father, Sardar Gorakh Singh said that the girls could excel in any field and their choice of profession depended on their will.

“After I lost my job during the lockdown, my daughters asked me to teach them to drive an auto-rickshaw. I supported them,” he added.

Rachana Sharma, Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO), Udhampur, as per the report, said: “Girls like Banjeet Kaur, who is driving an auto-rickshaw to support her father, is an example for society. When I was transferred as ARTO at Udhampur, I started a campaign called ‘Girls can drive’ under which several girls were trained to drive.”