Driving has long been considered a man’s game as till a few years ago, it was difficult to associate women with speed and thrill. With changing times, however, more and more women are learning to drive.

Cities like Patna have seen a recent surge in the number of women driving cars in the last few years. In fact, a major chunk of women thronging motor training schools of Patna are women.

“Almost four years ago, we hardly had two to three women trainees. Now, there are batches in which nearly 80% learners are women. Of these, 30% are in their thirties,” said Amit Gunjan, an instructor at a Boring Road training school. He further added that each batch has 40 to 45 students whose training lasts 18 days.

Also read: Govt proposal to Ola and Uber: Train and hire more women drivers

Citing the example of a 70-year-old lady who wanted to learn driving, Gunjan emphasised that it is the desire to be independent that compels women to learn driving.

A lot of women are also of the view that learning how to drive is important to ensure their security

Binod Kumar Sinha, the owner of four driving institutes in the city, recalled that there were hardly any woman trainee when he opened his first school in 1986.

“Things have changed in the last five years. Now, whoever has a car at home wants to learn how to drive rather than hiring a driver,” he told TOI.

He also added that at least 10 women visited his school per month.

According to Amar Kumar Soni, who offers a 10-day driving crash course at Kankarbagh, “Of the 20 students I train every month, 10 are women. Most of them learn driving because they either cannot afford a driver or want to bring their children back from school.”

A lot of women are also of the view that learning to drive is important for them to ensure their security.

While the reasons why women take to driving are myriad, the thought that driving gives them the freedom to move around freely and independently is empowering.