We do not wish to open a discourse between Feminist Army and Gender Equality Pilgrims with this article. Be humanist.
A common yet misleading notion pops up if you were ever to imagine a Sikkimese taxi driver. A sturdy but slightly crummy guy at his late thirties, bearing a tattooed arm, who has a soft spot for his four-wheeler which earns him his livelihood, perhaps the present thought pattern prevails but with the clock of change ticking by, one might as well imagine a female taxi driver in their near future. It is no longer a shock to witness women driving taxis and in fact it has been broadly accepted by the society as well. Gone are the days when only a father could be the financial pillar of the family, due to the fact that women don’t want to stay behind the curtains anymore but engage more of themselves in the matter of providing to the well-being of their loved ones.
Women have already entered and flourished in the job market, working full-time for decent wages. National and Multinational companies have established their franchises in Sikkim, generating more employment options for men and women. The latter haven’t held back their thought of pursuing a career suited to their interests, instead have made their voices heard.
As far as entrepreneurship is concerned, women are also equal torchbearers as men. Ms Sonam Tshering Bhutia the owner of the Taste Bud Sikkim: Chocolate House has earned reputation by employing 10 women under her belonging to that locality. By selling wondrous and one of her kind chocolates she is not only creating employment but setting an example for the budding talents.
Another rising Gangtokian female entrepreneur, Ms Devika Kerongay Gurung is a freelance artist who has attained wondrous feats in the field of art. She has established a project by the name of “Fidgety Fingers”, which aids Below Poverty Line women, school dropouts, and victims of social, physical and sexual abuse. Fidgety Fingers has been functioning at optimum levels by helping women develop their artistic capacity in knitting and crochet art, and a certain percentage of the company’s monetary profit reaches the women involved in making them.
Her new discovery, “The Ink Transfer Technique” implements a technique which passes ink onto the canvas through a medium, preferably gel. Transferring ink in this way elevates the look and feel of the artwork, setting a mood of gratification in the viewer’s mind. This innovative discovery is sure to seize tremendous opportunities in the field of art, providing a bigger scope for creative and artistic ventures.
Taxi driving has long been a career option for only the male members of the local society. It has aided them well, earning enough to lead a plentiful life and finding solutions of the problems set forward to him in the course of his lifetime.
As time brings about progress and modernisation in Sikkim and around, women have also started considering taxi driving as a profession and living more independently. The restrictions enforced on the idea of taxi driving being only a career option for the male members of the society are sooner or later going to suffer a blow to the head. There already are a number of female taxi drivers who have broken the conventional style of thinking by standing up for themselves with a desire to venture out into the modern world and to smash the barriers of a narrow-minded society.
The Traffic Police Department also laid their helping hands to the female taxi drivers by providing a separate taxi stand at the site of Bansilal Petrol Pump. The decision by the department is well appreciated as of now. With the rise in taxis driven by the women in the town, this major transition in the status of the society might shatter the lean pane of gender restriction to job options and boom the local economy.