Barring all senseless conventions and stereotypes from consideration, Mosammat Jasmine is surely giving everyone in the sub-continent women-empowerment goals. From being a single hapless mother to apparently becoming Bangladesh’s only female rickshaw-puller, Jasmine’s journey, undoubtedly, has been an uphill as well as an inspiring one. The lady, who peddles around her way on a rickshaw through the bustling streets of the port city of Chittagong is more popular by the moniker of ‘Crazy Auntie’.
Driven by the sheer determination to carve out a better future for her sons, Jasmine tells The Hindu, “I do it to make sure my sons don’t go hungry and they get a decent education at a good school.” The lady who makes it a point to brush aside all the needless and discouraging advice that come to her from time to time, also says, “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.”
As reported by the daily, becoming a rickshaw-puller wasn’t Jasmine’s first career choice. She initially took up the job of a maid and then worked in a garment factory of Bangladesh before finally taking an unusual call and stepping into the shoes of a rickshaw-puller. Apparently, Jasmine had some initial problems as many potential passengers didn’t board her rickshaw because they weren’t comfortable with the idea of a woman pulling it, while others denied her the valid fare on the grounds of her gender.
But, with time, the hassles disappeared and she started making decent money. Jasmine, reportedly, now brings home an average of 600 taka (around Rs 500) after toiling hard – an amount that lets her pay the rent of the rickshaw to its rightful owner and also meet the necessities of her three sons.