Shanti Devi

The game changer

Shanti Devi and her husband had first set up a tea stall on a busy road. They soon expanded to the automobile business, and she became adept at fixing and replacing tyres. Drivers often hesitate in trusting her, but her work dispels all their doubts.

In a world where women are supposed to stand by in support of their husbands, Shanti Devi took the wheel! She defied gender roles and took up what they traditionally call, a “man’s job”. You’re looking at the only female tyre repairer at Sanjay Gandhi Truck Terminus. A title that she has been wearing with pride for the last 20 years.

Her journey has come a long way since she and her husband first set up a tea stall on a busy road. Seeing the traffic pass by them everyday triggered an expansion into the automobile business. Shanti Devi soon became adept at fixing and replacing tyres, breaking the preconceived notions of intense manual labour being the job of well, a man.

She swears by, and works by the belief that you don’t need to be bulky to lift and ferry around a tyre. And you don’t need to let gender define the profession you choose to pursue. But getting other people to be in tune with her philosophy wasn’t easy.

In an industry dominated by men, she had to prove herself twice. First, to convince her prospective customers that she was a competent mechanic. Second, that she was at par with her male counterparts, if not better.

Watching Shanti Devi in her element, working with a fiery passion isn’t just enough to dispel all doubts of her proficiency. It also sets the wheels in motion for a larger involvement of women in traditionally male fields.


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