Trampling over gender stereotypes

A man in the driving seat and a woman atop the vehicle rummaging through garbage to segregate it is a ubiquitous sight across various localities in the city where door-to-door waste collection is done.

A woman from Jagadgirigutta, however, has broken the glass ceiling in this respect, and assumed the steering wheel of the Swachh Auto Trolley (SAT) which she drives every day to collect garbage.

Kogari Nirmala was the helper on the SAT vehicle of her husband Shobhan Babu, collecting garbage from Yellamma Banda area of Kukatpally, and Borabanda areas.

“We found the going very tough, and decided that we need to earn separately. My husband taught me how to drive the vehicle, and for the past three years, I have been doing this job alone,” Nirmala shared.

Her husband started going out as paid driver on another vehicle. Nirmala covers 300 households every day, taking along all her three children aged five, four and one.

“I cannot leave my children at home as they are very young. Even during COVID-19 lockdown, I covered all the households without fail, with my children in tow. I am proud of my job, and indebted to my husband for encouraging me to take the wheel,” she said.

Nirmala was one of the 10 women felicitated by Y.S.Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 7:56:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/trampling-over-gender-stereotypes/article34023119.ece

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