RGU student turns part-time cabby

RGU student turns part-time cabby

| Evana Tissopi |

ITANAGAR, Oct 7: Twenty-two-year-old Soni Kipa, a Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) student has turned out to be a part-time cab driver transporting only women commuters on the RGU-Bage Tinali route to pursue her passion for driving besides making few extra bucks for herself.

Soni offers her own car for hire and self-drives as well. “The university buses ply on the road at a fixed schedule, making it extremely difficult for students of the university who need to travel during emergency, as there are no direct public transport vehicles from the National Highway-415 to the campus.

Seeing my colleagues’ difficulties, I was moved to start this small venture on my own will as it gave me an opportunity to earn little money and also others too would benefit from my service,” she says.

Hailing from Seppa, East Kameng district, Soni, the youngest of her four siblings in the family, said that she has no plans to further her cab service as study is her foremost focus. “I drive only from 3 pm to 7 pm in order to make sure that it does not affect my classes and studies. My priority is still on studies. I felt that instead of wasting my leisure time in other non-productive things, it will be good if I go out and help others who are in need,” she said.

Soni shared that initially she was reluctant on starting her cab service and was apprehensive of people forming negative opinions especially as cab driving is thought to be the job for men. “I was a bit conscious about people’s mentality especially towards women taking to cab driving. But I always followed by heart and bothered less about people’s opinions,” she said, adding that people should never differentiate work on the basis of gender.

A third semester student in Mass Communication department, Soni said that many people including her colleagues and seniors in the campus have appreciated her work and often avail her service when needed.

When asked how much she earns from her part-time job, she said coyly, “I earn enough to meet my personal expenses!”

Soni said that her parents are also aware of her work and have encouraged her to continue, provided it does not affect her studies.

“Parents should guide their children in their lives, but also must allow them to do what they really desire. Parents must be like a friend to their children,” she added.

Soni rejected the notion that financial problems in the family have led her to take up to part-time cab driving. “Poverty is not what led me to take up this work. It is my passion for driving and the desire to help others that pushed me,” she said, adding that her family is financially sound and can meet all of her expenditures.

The youths today should be innovative and follow what their heart says without any fear; Soni said adding that in future too she will not shy away from challenging gender stereotyping of any work.

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