A woman of substance is one who empowers others, and Revathi Roy is exactly that. She saw the untapped potential in rural and poor women and trained them to become skilled taxi drivers, thus making them financially independent and transforming their lives.
Revathi started FORSCHE– the first ever women’s taxi service — in 2007 when the term ‘startup revolution’ was unheard of. Today she has three businesses up and running under her belt and has trained over a thousand women to be drivers. Her new venture — HeyDidi — which she started in March this year, is the first instant delivery service by women riding two-wheelers.
Revathi, who holds a Masters degree in Economics from Mumbai University, takes pride in pulling families out of a life of despair and making their women bread-earners. She told SheThePeople.TV, “We skill, train and employ women. We are changing the way women look at themselves and the way people look at professions as earlier we never had women taxi drivers. So the very fact that they are coming out to become cab drivers is in itself a transformation.”
These women, who Revathi has trained through her skill development centre, are now earning anywhere around Rs 10,000 when they had never earned such an amount ever before in their lives.
She feels that with what she does, if it makes even a marginal difference to the country, then it is worth it. “We are very fortunate to be in this space where we are doing something disruptive,” she said.
How hard is it to reach out to under-privileged women or women for whom working outside home is a taboo? It is damn hard, Revathi explained, “Because this concept was so new, it was difficult to convince women to come for this program, but we worked hard to make it happen.”
Now, she has set a new goal for herself, that of training 10,000 women to drive both taxi and two-wheelers in the next three years.
We salute the spirit of Revathi, a champion of women’s empowerment.