Meet Ankita Shah, Ahmedabad's first specially-abled woman auto driver

Thirty-eight-year-old specially-abled Ankita Shah smashed the stereotypical societal norms a few years ago and decided to ride an autorickshaw to earn living for her family.

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Where there is a will, there is a way! Thirty-eight-year-old specially-abled Ankita Shah smashed the stereotypical societal norms a few years ago and decided to ride an autorickshaw. She quit her desk job at a call centre and started driving a rickshaw to contribute to her father’s intestinal cancer treatment. Today, she has become Ahmedabad's first differently-abled female auto driver.

As reported in The Better India, she was just a year old when she lost her right leg to Polio. It had to be eliminated. Her supportive family always encouraged her to pursue education. They inspired her to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Economics so that she could earn her living. The next few years were quite hard for her. In 2009, she migrated from Palitana to Ahmedabad in search of a job. She was rejected in several interviews as she wasn’t fluent in English and also because of her prosthetic limb
However, being the eldest child in a family of seven, she had many responsibilities on her shoulder. She accepted any job that was offered to her — be it in a call centre, real estate firm or even working as a housekeeper in hotels. Honestly, none of these jobs matched her qualification. She knew that she deserved more and so she decided to take the control of her life.

Ankita got an idea of driving auto-rickshaw and with the help of a friend Lalji Barot who was also a differently-abled auto driver she learned driving. He also helped her get a customised rickshaw with hand-operated brakes. Driving an auto helped Ankita earn Rs 25,000 a month. Further to increase her income, she joined a cab aggregator platform too.

At present, not only her father is doing well but also she is living a happy and respectful life.