Driving changes lifestyle for women in fishing community
Kollam, Kerala
Women in driver-seat; e-auto flag off by Fr George PS sdb, Exe. Director of BREADS Bangalore

Driving changes lifestyle for women in fishing community

- BREADS Bangalore

On 13 April seven licensed women drivers drove into the future in their own e-autos in the 7th phase of the WE Auto (Women empowerment through Electric Autos) initiative in Kollam, Kerala; joining the other trailblazers, totalling to 34 women from the local fishing community. They are literally driving change into their own lives and the lives of their communities, with the support of BREADS and its Don Bosco partner Fishermen Community Development Programme (FCDP).  

Johncy Alex, a 30-year-old single mother, faces tremendous challenges in her daily life. Separated from her husband, she has the complete responsibility of housing, feeding and educating her two children. The potential of e-autos shared by a staff of Don Bosco, ignited a spark of hope within her. Johncy reached out to FCDP for assistance and enrolled in their comprehensive training programme for WE Autos. She was diligent in acquiring the necessary skills and license, and eventually procured an auto through seed capital and other financial assistance through BREADS and FCDP. Johncy's e-auto is now her lifeline, bringing her a daily income of at least INR 1500/- This income stream enables her to meet her dailyexpenses, empowers her to gradually settle outstanding debts, while ensuring that her children receive the education they deserve.

The average cost of an e-auto is INR 3,50,000/-, which is not a small sum. However, the financial, technical and moral support provided by FCDP, and the cost benefits of the low-maintenance electric autos, make the journey to ownership a very achievable goal for Johncy. Her resilience and determination, backed by BREADS’ and FCDP’s support, helps Johncy drive herself and her family into a brighter tomorrow in an auto fuelled by clean energy.

The women themselves have each undergone personal empowerment and transformation and their stories are inspiring. All of them were poorly educated, without exposure to the world, and disempowered by family situations of abuse and/or socioeconomic struggles.

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