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Single mother drives e-rickshaw with her son strapped around her in Noida

Undaunted by adverse circumstances, Chanchal Sharma, a single mother drives e-rickshaw with her one-year-old son strapped around her

Symbolising grit, hard work and perseverance, Chanchal Sharma of Noida stands out among the hundreds of e-rickshaw drivers. Apart from being a woman, she is a single mother who ferries passengers while having her one-year-old son Ankush strapped around her chest.

It was a year ago when 27-year-old Chanchal faced a daunting challenge when she was blessed with a baby boy after separating from her husband. She looked for a job and finally settled down to drive an e-rickshaw for a living.

Unable to avail of creche services she was forced to take the baby along with her. She realised that though her family was willing to help, they were all tied up in their life and the baby couldn’t be away from her for long. Talking to TOI she said: “I have no place to leave my son behind. My mother sells onions from a cart. So, I have to take my son along when I drive.” Her three sisters are married and stay far away.

Her day starts early at 6.30 a.m. as she ferries passengers on her 6.5-kilometre route between National Institute of Biologicals in Sector 62 and Labour Chowk in Sector 59. At noon she takes a break to go home and give her son a bath and lunch. She does carry a milk bottle to feed him while working. In the evening she is back to work.

When required she does leave her son with mother and sisters but that is rare. The hot summer months are tough for her and the child as the latter keeps crying.

Yet, Chanchal keeps going. Earning between Rs.600 and 700, she is determined to give Ankush a better life.

Working with her child draws the attention of passengers as many of them appreciate her. “Women passengers also prefer my e-rickshaw,” she told TOI.

WATCH: Rickshaw puller holds his baby in one hand while pedalling