She may be able to lift heavy tires, but it’s her gentle approach to life that she’s become ‘India’s only female mechanic’


When Shanti Devi picks up heavy truck tires in her repair workshop, customers and coworkers quickly jump to help her. But they quickly step back after seeing that, much to their surprise, this lady does the heavy lifting all on her own. 

Twenty years ago Shanti and her husband Ram arrived in Delhi all the way from Madhya Pradesh. Her husband worked many different jobs to support the family, from pulling rickshaws to farming, but the couple never quite found the right fit. Eventually, Shanti and Ram opened a tea shop in Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar (SGTN). But this little tea shop would be just the beginning of their adventure.

Considered one of Asia’s largest truck stops, SGTN can house up to 70,000 trucks at one time and has over 20,000 trucks passing through on any given day. So it was no surprise that the tea shop did extremely well. One day the couple decided to expand their services and open a mechanic shop to cater to the repair needs of the thousands of truck drivers every day. Their mechanic shop was an instant hit.

Shanti has always been a quick learner and as she closely observed her husband and other mechanics as they worked on the big trucks, she soon picked up the “tricks of the trade.”

Born a harder worker as well, Shanti is now one of the best mechanics at their shop

The mother of eight can fix a punctured tire as easily as any other household chore. Her husband is also very supportive of her help at their repair shop.

Working for her family is not a new task for this remarkable lady. Born into a poor family, her father worked in a jewellery shop while her mother performed odd jobs to support the family. This meant Shanti had to take care of the household as well as her younger brothers and sisters. She forsook her own education to support her siblings and always encouraged them to focus on their studies so that they could have the life that she could only dream of.

“It is always good to be adept at a specific skill. I feel blessed that I could make the most of the opportunities that life gave me.” Shanti told Gulf News

Despite having received no formal education or training, she vowed to contribute to the family income from a young age. Shanti rented a sewing machine, taught herself the basics of tailoring, and began taking orders from tailors for altering clothes and making patterns. That’s how she became the breadwinner for the family during hard times.

Now, years later, her brother works as a lawyer. Shanti has been able to contribute to all the weddings in the family, including her own. She is an advocate for education and believes every woman must learn a skill to truly be independent.

She further shared with Gulf, “Life has taught me not to sit and brood over any situation. Rather, I work towards improving it. It was during the low points of my life that I learnt the most valuable lessons. Bad times do not last forever. Life is a constant learning process. I feel that success depends on an individual’s determination to succeed.”

Shanti is living proof that with the right attitude, an open heart and breadth of mind, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Credit: NTD


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