SUGIYA, OUR FIRST DRIVER
Sugiya Devi is the first electric rickshaw driver trained and employed by Karuna-Shechen. She is from Bodhgaya, Bihar, where 40% of the population live under the poverty line and only 34% of women are literate.
Before becoming a driver, Sugiya’s life was difficult and hard as she struggled to provide food for her children and disabled husband. As soon as she heard about our program to train destitute women to become rickshaw drivers, she knew it was her calling.
Sugiya Devi says that although she felt nervous at first, and was sometimes ridiculed by male drivers, she is now a proud and confident driver.
Her daily earnings have made a huge difference in her life as she can now provide for her family.
A SUCCESSFUL CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN
A few months ago Karuna-Shechen appealed to your generosity through an online crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to train new female drivers from the lowest caste of Indian society.
You responded with generosity and enthusiasm for this innovative project. Thanks to your active participation, we exceeded the primary objective and collected $8975USD.
Your generous donations will support the training of three new female drivers and help us to acquire three additional electric rickshaws. We have already trained one new driver who will start work in a few weeks .
Summer in Bodhgaya means extremely high temperatures, and we will suspend further training for a few weeks and will resume in September. Several new female candidates have already expressed a keen interest in this project.
Ultimately, our goal is to create a network of green (electric) taxi-rickshaws exclusively driven by women .