Picking up newspaper bundles, packing them into her bicycle basket and then pressing the pedals at the crack of the dawn --- life isn’t easy for 30-year-old Jamila Khan, the only female newspaper hawker in the holy city.
However, Jamila, who crumbled a male bastion a decade ago, takes pride in her job.
Each morning, Jamila cycles into the local newspaper collection centre and then pushed off with her consignment .The presence of men all around doesn’t bother the woman with an indefatigable spirit.
“Challenges are a way of life for me. When I opted for this profession, no one in my family liked it, but I was determined to do it. Harsh weather, long distances or odd-working hours, nothing has been able to deter me in these 10 years,” says Jamila while talking to HT.
“I started working with a leading daily where I looked after newspaper bookings. Later, I started distributing papers in limited areas. Now, I cover a major portion of the university, including hostels (both boys and girls) and staff residences,” adds the breadwinner of her family.
It’s quite an unusual sight to see a woman riding her bicycle packed with newspapers at dawn, a time when most of people are snuggled in their beds.
“In winters, it’s usually dark and foggy when I start my day. But I don’t get scared as I am able to handle things on my own,” says Jamila. The woman draws immense strength when morning walkers shower their appreciation with a wave of hand or a salute.