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Woman autorickshaw driver in need of help

R. Arivanantham

— Photo: N. Bashkaran

For a living:S. Bhavani needs assistance to buy an autorickshaw.

KRISHNAGIRI: A Dalit woman autorickshaw driver, near here, is in need of help from the government departments for her livelihood.

S. Bhavani (28) of Kallakurikki village, nearly 7 km from Krishnagiri town, is the only woman who has got a Light Motor Vehicle licence for auto in the district. After her husband's death in 2006, she has been working as a daily wage labourer to eke out a living besides educating her two sons and a daughter.

She learnt driving from Michael, an auto driver affiliated to CITU for two weeks. She approached the Regional Transport Office in Krishnagiri for licence. She passed the test drive and got the LMV licence on January 9, 2010. She hired an auto and was driving it for over a month. Following resistance from her father-in-law Chennaiyan, a village assistant, she stopped driving.

“After much persuasion from my neighbours and well-wishers, my father-in-law has allowed me to drive an auto. If any government department or social organisation comes forward to help me get loan to buy an autorickshaw, I can have a decent living,” says Bhavani.

When contacted, P. Meenakshi Sundaram, District Manager, Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Housing and Development Corporation, said that the Corporation was ready to extend a subsidy of Rs. 25,000. It would also recommend for term loan from nationalised banks.

Saraswathi Ganesan, Project Officer, Mahalir Thittam, said 50 youth including women were being given LMV driving training through a private training school in Krishnagiri. Soon after they finish their training, the department would arrange placement for them in private companies.

A. Shantha Kumari, District Manager, TAHDCO, Dharmapuri, said that two women with LMV licence were given loan to buy autorickshaw with a subsidy of Rs. 25,000. A sum of Rs. 24,000 had been given as margin money from the State government. The promoters contributed Rs. 6,000 as their share and the remaining Rs. 65,000 was arranged as loan from the National Scheduled Caste Financial Development Corporation, New Delhi, during 2008-09 and 2009-10.

She said Dharmapuri district had extended loans to 20 Adi Dravidars to buy autorickshaws during the term of previous Collector P. Amutha.

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