Female Rickshaw Driver in Poll Bid - Indian Elections
Sunitha Choudhury has achieved a great deal in her 33 years - left a disastrous marriage and carved out a groundbreaking career for herself in New Delhi. Overcoming prejudice, she became the first woman to be granted an auto-rickshaw licence. In doing so, she has become a role model for poor women who can now aspire to careers of their own. Recently, an all women taxi service has been launched.
Her next step is standing for election in the ongoing Indian elections. While some women are MPs, many are backed by powerful, political families. The political party that Choudhury is representing, The United Women's Front, is attempting to get 50% of the seats reserved for women.
First she escaped a violent child marriage to achieve the unthinkable - becoming the first and only woman to drive an auto-rickshaw on the streets of the Indian capital, New Delhi.
Now she wants to become an MP.
Five years ago, she became the city's first woman auto-rickshaw driver. This poorly paid profession is a male bastion. Few Indian women, even the poor and desperate, want to drive around the streets at night, open to the elements and vulnerable to violence.
But Choudhury is undaunted. Her background since the age of 12 has given her no choice but to learn to be tough.
She arrived in the city in 1995 at the age of 14. She had been married at 12 to a violent alcoholic in a village near Meerut. Her in-laws also beat her.
But, by standing, she wants to persuade "ordinary" women like herself to enter politics. In India's last parliament, only eight per cent of the MPs were women. Of the 7,000 candidates in this general election, only 490 are women and most belong to powerful political families.
Choudhury wants to see more Indian women get involved in politics
"We need more women in decision-making. Only they can understand the issues of dowry, domestic violence, rape and feeling unsafe on the streets," said Suman Krishan Kant, the founder of United Women's Front.
This woman certainly gets my admiration.