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Mai Aur Meri Scooty

One woman’s dream changed 10,000 lives


Rekha grew up in the quaint town of Bareilly. Like girls around her, she was never allowed to dream and envision a life for herself. A set path of marriage and children was laid out for her and demurely, she followed it.

As soon as she came of age, she was married off and shifted to Mathura. Two children followed and as the years flew by, Rekha was lost in the entrancing dance of domesticity. She lived only for her children, her family - her sense of self completely faded.


Photo of wonder women
Rekha Khandelwal

One day, as she was looking out of the passenger seat window, a woman drove past them on a scooter. But Rekha saw only the most vibrant colors of freedom. She was hit by the realisation that her life had become of servitude, where her own thoughts and desires were never on her list of priorities. The vision of freedom she saw gave birth to her resolve. She wanted to learn to ride the scooter and reclaim her life.

 

“She felt infinite, on that scooter. Riding her scooter showed her the joys that confidence and agency brought along with them. She had the power to dream and think for herself.”

 

Once she learnt to ride, exhilaration became Rekha’s new name. She was able to leave behind her worries and fears, the burdensome responsibilities of the house. She felt infinite, on that scooter. Riding her scooter showed her the joys that confidence and agency brought along with them. She had the power to dream and think for herself.


Rekha with her dog champ
Rekha with Champ

But that was the least of it. She was finally living for herself. She even became an inspiration for other sari-clad women of her age who now wanted to re-awaken their long-lost identity.


She wanted to share this feeling with many more women, and so, with her daughter Pawani, she decided to make mobility accessible to countless women in India. Thus, was born Aatm Nirbhar, which has now trained over 10,000 women across North India to ride two-wheelers through female trainers.

Ask her about what her scooty means to her, she says with a dazzling smile,


" Riding my scooty is the best part of my day, us waqt, sirf main aur meri scooty hote hain! "


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