Gurgaon: Tales of bold women with unconventional jobs in a city known for gender crimes
On International Women’s Day, a look at women who are proving there’s no job too tough for them.Updated: Mar 08, 2018 00:05 IST
Sunita Yadav was a simple homemaker from Rajasthan till eight months ago when an accident claimed her husband’s life, an electrician. Today, Yadav has stepped into her husband’s shoes and earns for her daughters and herself.
“My family and in-laws are not aware of what I do, they think I am a domestic help working in Gurgaon. I visit five to six houses every day and earn around ₹1,000 a day,” the 45-year-old said, adding that the only skill she had learnt was repairing electrical points from her husband.
Like Yadav, there are many women in Gurgaon who have broken stereotypes and written their own unconventional success stories in a male-dominated world with many jobs still considered “men only”.
Another such bold woman is 24-year-old Roshini Sharma from Jaipur, who moved to Gurgaon three years ago in search of a job after completing her B.Com, but ended becoming a delivery rider.
“It was very challenging to become a delivery rider. It was tough being on a scooter all the time, especially at night. Drunk men used to hit my scooter; I was molested several times, but I did not give up. I decided to hit back. I started keeping small bricks near the footrest and when someone tried to act smart, I would throw bricks,” Sharma said, adding that even customers try to take advantage sometimes, but she is counselled at work on how to handle such situations.
As Sharma bravely battles unpleasant situations, Khushboo has made it her job to help pubs and bars in the city “keep it clean”. The 23-year-old works as a bouncer in one of the city malls at night.
“The job is tough, but now I enjoy it. I still remember how men used to misbehave with me initially, and used to touch me inappropriately. While coming out of the pubs, they intentionally acted like they were drunk and would grope me.”
Khushboo sobbed quietly for a year, then one day she decided that enough is enough and thrashed two men. “People now know that if they touch me, they’ve had it. My job is to ensure women are safe and reach home safely after a couple of drinks,” said Khushboo smiling.
While Khushboo ensures women are safe having fun, Veena Gupta, a body guard, safeguards men.
A Delhi University graduate, Gupta pursued her post-graduation in hotel management, but quit her job after looking at the increasing crime and trained as a bodyguard.
While she is satisfied with the job, she regrets that she faces differential treatment at work. “Women are as strong as men, it is just that we need to know how to use our capabilities and talent the right way,” she said.
Women in Gurgaon have even entered the world of motorsports.
Bani Yadav, 47, bagged the overall second position in the Indian Rally Championship in Rally De North, 2016. In the 2016 Maruti Suzuki National Autocross championship, she won the overall third position and came up top among women in the national ranking for the 1650cc+ category.
“I have been winning auto cross events in various categories across the country. I love to compete with men and prove that women are no less. I work for acid attack victims, rape survivors, victimised women for bringing them back into the mainstream society,” Yadav said.
Mandeep Kaur Merwah, 46, is another woman who broke the mould when she learned to ride a motorbike at 45 and become a trainer herself.
“I grew up in the Middle East where women are not permitted to drive or ride. Moving back to India was one of the greatest things that happened to me. Early on, I understood that no man was too eager to train a woman to ride a motorcycle. This changed my life,” said Merwah, who now runs her own academy where women come to learn to ride motorcycles.
Merwah, however, rues the lack of safety gear for women riders.