The Only female rickshawala in Bangladesh : Mosammat Jasmine

The Only female rickshawala in Bangladesh : Mosammat Jasmine<br>Updated on : 17-02-2017 01:47 PM


As Bangladesh's only known woman rickshaw wallah, Mosammat Jasmine may be a feminist icon but to the passengers she paddles her rickshaw around Chittagong and many people call her "Crazy Auntie".




At Chittagong bus station while resting she told "I do it to make sure my sons don't go hungry and they get a decent education at a good school,"

"Allah has given me a pair of hands and legs to work with. I don't beg -- instead I earn a living by using his gifts," she adds.

Muslim-majority Bangladesh is one of Asia's most conservative societies where the concept of a woman doing such a job had been unheard of before Jasmine hit the road five years ago.

Left to fend for three young children when her husband ran off with another woman, Jasmine initially tried her hand at being a maid and then working in one of Bangladesh's garment factories but found neither job suited her.

"A maid's job is good if you only have to worry about yourself but not if you've got children. And the factory work is really back-breaking and the pay is really poor," the 45-year-old explains.

Struggling to make ends meet and determined to pay for her children's education, she decided on her radical career change when a neighbour who owned a rickshaw offered to lend it to her for a few days.

Working out how to navigate the streets of Bangladesh's second city was the easy part although she did find it painful at times to peddle her brightly-coloured tricycle up some of its hilly neighbourhood.

But finding willing passengers proved a stiffer challenge

."Initially, many simply refused to get on board and some taunted me, saying I was doing a man's job," she recalls.


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