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A stay-at- home, sexually abused, weak mother turns to become an empowered, financially independent, strong minded, professional driver and a capable mother!

Sheela, a thirty five year old women is one of our pioneering employees. She is the main financial contributor of her family today. Her husband, Shyam Sunder Yadav is paralyzed and thus unemployed. Sheela and her family live in Dhava State, Chinhat, Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. She has four children, three sons and one daughter. Her eldest son Subhas is 17 years of age and is working part time, so is able to bring home a mere some of money every month. Akhilesh is 15, studying in grade 10 and Abhishek is 13 and is also a student. Her daughter SandhyaYadav is 18 years of age and is in grade 12 in Prerna School, Lucknow, which is a part of Study Hall Educational Foundation.

Sheela, before joining DiDi’s was a victim of brutal sexual abuse, by her husband and other male family members – she was abused sexually,physically, emotionally and verbally, on a regular basis. She was often beaten, in front of her children and the community, by her husband. The bruises and wounds along with the emotional shame and torture that she was subjected to left her emotionally vulnerable and mentally weak, with high levels of anxiety and worry, for many years. She was fragile, confused, bulliedand completely unaware of her legal rights and privileges as a woman in society. Before joining DiDi’s, Sheelaworked as a manual laborer at a construction site.Sheworked tirelessly to educate and feed her four children and husband. Her dream was to fulfill her daughter’swish to one day become a police officer, and this is what motivated her to move ahead in life and find a way to fulfill her daughters wish.

Sheela mustered the courage to change her life when she heard about the opportunities at DiDi’s. Much against her husband and extended family’s wishes, and after months of pondering over this decision,Sheela one day decided to come to work at DiDi’s. She was the first of our women to enroll under the driving training program. Sheela enthusiastically took up the challenge of learning how to drive – a pioneer in her community and the first woman in all of Uttar Pradesh to be trained as a professional woman driver, in 2008.It took Sheela only 3 months to hit the streets driving around Lucknow. She hasbeen driving since, and is the DiDi’s food delivery van driver, delivering foodaround the city.DiDi’s delivers over a thousand meals a day (the DiDi’svan is donated by Weikfield Pvt. Ltd.,India).

Sheela has successfully been able to put her daughter through school and her daughter is now completing her vocational training course incomputers. She is also undergoing a vocational training program to become a beautician. Her daughter is looking at this as a steeping stone to follow her long awaited dream to become a police officer. She is emotionally engaged and financially independent. On the side she is also training to become physically fit, to one day enroll into the Police forces to become a lady Police officer. Sheela and her family’s wishes are now close to becoming a reality, and she is completely thrilled and overjoyed and ever so grateful to DiDi’s for helping her get where she is – a strong, empowered, determined woman, completely in charge of her life.

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