Jhansi Rani Panda -#Odia Girl from Baripada drives Auto Rickshaw for her Educational Expenses – Published in – Published in #Womenera #Odisha
BARIPADA: Her story is a classic example of an indomitable spirit. Unwilling to let financial constraints get the better of her studies, a young girl in Mayurbhanj district has turned the tide in her favour by daring to traverse the rugged terrains in an auto-rickshaw of her own.
A tale which would inspire thousands of lives, Jhansi Rani Panda (19) of Surisakata village under Baisinga police limits in Mayurbhanj district drives an auto-rickshaw to meet her study expenses and even support her family income.
Jhansi, who resides at Gaudadiha in Shanti Nagar under Baripada Municipality along with her parents and siblings, is a student of Plus Two Arts in MPC (Junior) College.
Probably, the only female auto driver in the entire North Odisha, she earns around Rs 200 daily.
Jhansi took the daring step four months back when she faced financial hurdles to pursue her studies. Her father Ajay Kumar Panda, a bus driver, found it difficult to manage the six-member family with a meagre monthly income of Rs 6,000. The crisis threatened to disrupt Jhansi’s education. But refusing to relent under the pressure, a determined Jhansi decided to take up auto driving as a part time profession.
Jhansi’s two elder sisters are graduates and younger brother is studying in Class IV. Her immediate elder sister Rashmi aspires to become an IPS officer.
“We all nurse a dream of making it big in life. But financial constraints sometimes act as roadblock in achieving our goals. The true test of character is to overcome adversity and pursue one’s dream. That’s why I took up the job of driving auto-rickshaw,” said Jhansi who aspires to become a Mathematics professor as it is her favourite subject since childhood.
The auto-rickshaw was gifted to me by a relative and after training for a month, I started ferrying passengers, she said.
Jhansi drives nearly 20 km a day from 3 pm to 6 pm after college hours. But the job has its pitfalls. “I face a lot of teasing. Male counterparts pass comments everyday, particularly when I cross any crowded place. But I am used to it now and the comments do not bother me any more,” she said.
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Apart from parents, Jhansi’s teachers are encouraging her a lot. Moved by Jhansi’s attempt, landlord Chittaranjan Mohapatra, a bank employee, has provided the family two rent-free rooms while Statistics lecturer Arun Dutta is giving the girl free coaching classes.
Jhansi hopes her initiative will inspire other women. “If Kalpana Chawla can fly a space shuttle, why can’t we drive an auto-rickshaw?” she added with a smile. src Indian Express – Odisha