A trio of sisters from the city of Lahore in Pakistan is breaking stereotypes and setting an example for women in the highly male-dominated society by driving rickshaws to earn a living after being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to local media reports, Nasreen Bibi, Saima Khatun, and Shahnaz Bibi started their work after buying rickshaws in installments.
Speaking to a local news outlet, Nasreen said: “I am the sole breadwinner of my family. My children are young, and I have no one to support me financially.”
Nasreen said that one of her sister’s husband had died, and the other sister’s husband was ill, so instead of working in people’s homes, the siblings decided to go out and provide rickshaw rides.
“I first learned to drive a rickshaw and then bought a rickshaw in monthly installments of Rs 5,000 [Dh109],” Nasreen was quoted as saying. According to a news report, the sisters sold their jewellery to pay for the installments.
The sisters thought of providing rickshaw rides after coronavirus hit Pakistan and the lockdown was eventually lifted.
“We had no income. I started driving a rickshaw so I would be able to earn money and educate my children,” Saima was quoted as saying.
Speaking about how the pandemic impacted their household, Nasreen said: “We were affected by the [COVID-19] lockdown, we had nothing to eat or drink.”
Expressing her contentment with the job they have pursued, Nasreen was quoted as saying: “In the beginning, I thought that it would be challenging for me to go out and face people, but it wasn’t that difficult."
The sisters found it surprising that once they started driving the rickshaws people encouraged them and they did not face harassment.
“Now people stop us and praise us for our hard work,” Nasreen was quoted as saying.
Commenting on a video news report on Twitter, user @Faiziofficial05 lauded the siblings for their hard work: "Well done ladies big respect."