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Aarti, the autorickshaw driver

Our first story of the series is about Aarti, one of the few female autorickshaw drivers in Delhi. Aarti spends most of her days outside driving autorickshaws irrespective of the weather conditions. We spoke to her about her experience working long hours in the scorching heat waves that shook Delhi in 2023.



Mera naam Aarti hai, Mai bachpan se hi Delhi se hoon
Mujhe 4-5 mahine hogaye hai auto chalatey hue
Kuch saalon se garmi bahut badh gayi hai.
Mai toh paani aur kheera khati rehti hoon jab kaam pe hoti hoon. Hum sab seh rahe hain, doophar mai bahar rehte hai, mai toh chau mai khada rakhti hoon apna auto
2-3 baar mujhe chakkar bhi aaye hain, bahut ghabrahat hui hai ekdumse
Pata nahi kya ho raha hai, aajkal baarish bhi ho rahi hai lekin garmi pe kuch asar hi nahi padh raha hai.
Mujhe toh ye lag raha hai ke kalyug aagagya hai, issiliye itni garmi hai warna pehle itna nahi tha.
Shayad pedh paudhe zada nahi hai iss wajah se badh rahi hai, laga nahi rahe hum pedh. Pedh bahut zada zaruri hoti hai. Mujhe aise lagta hai agar hum sab pedh paudhe lagaye toh kuch madad ho sakti hai.

My name is Artiti, and I've been living in Delhi since my childhood.

It's been about 4-5 months since I started driving an auto-rickshaw.


The heat has been unbearable for the past few years. I keep drinking water and eating cucumbers when I'm at work. We are all enduring it; we stay outside during the afternoon. I keep my auto-rickshaw in the shade.


I've experienced dizziness 2-3 times, and it's been really unsettling suddenly. I don't know what's happening. It's been raining lately, but it doesn't seem to have much effect on the heat. I feel like maybe the end of the world is coming, that's why it's so hot now; it wasn't like this before.


Maybe there aren't enough trees, and that's why it's getting worse. We don't seem to be taking care of the trees. Trees are very important. I feel like if we all plant trees, it might help.


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