Tough times don’t last, tough people, do. One such strong and inspiring soul is Yogita Raghuvanshi – India’s first lady truck driver from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
Yogita Raghuvanshi’s story is of grit, persistence, and determination. For the past fifteen years, this single mother of two has traveled every nook and corner of the country in her truck. Alongside, shattering the notion of truckers, which has essentially been a male domain.
Yogita is not only breaking stereotypes but also leading the way for many to create a life of dignity for themselves. While growing up in Nandurbar in Maharashtra with four siblings, Yogita earned degrees in Commerce and Law. Though she was happy being a wife and a mother, her husband was the one who encouraged her to study law. 16 years ago, life changed for Yogita forever when her husband died. But rather than practicing law, she preferred to be a truck driver.
Many may find it unbelievable, but Yogita shares her logical reason behind her decision. While sharing her story, Yogita Raghuvanshi mentioned,
“If I had opted to be a junior to some lawyer and enter the legal profession, I would have got only a pittance for the many initial years. But I learnt that driving trucks meant instant wages and greater stability. In a country that is developing at such a rapid pace, there will always be work for a truck driver.”
After her lawyer-husband died in a road accident in 2003, then 33-year-old Yogita had to take care of her little ones – Yashika and Yashwin. Though they had employed a driver but were making losses because of that. So, Raghuvanshi decided to take things into her own hands and changed the course of her life – from losses to profitability.
But her first battle began at home, as she had to first fight her family to do this. Yogita being strong-willed and determined shared:
“I had made up my mind that I just want to move forward with my life and do this for myself and my family. I kept moving forward, breaking all barriers and here I am today. Everything is possible once you start, and you can fulfil all your aspirations when you believe this,”
She further shares how she is not bothered by society’s patriarchal and regressive mindset:
“I love what I do but shuttling between cities across the country with my truck had its inevitable load of problems. Nobody believes that I drive trucks – whether then or now. They assume that I am the driver’s woman. Mechanics on the highway, men at dhabas and elsewhere leer at me, but when they see me at the wheel, their look changes dramatically. But none of this bothers me, it never did,”
It is quite inspiring how Yogita took charge of her life and fought her circumstances to create a life of dignity for herself and her kids. From a struggling widow to the owner of Rajhans Transport Company, Yogita’s story is a tale of hope, determination, and persistence. We are so proud of you, Yogita!