Feature | NATION

Wati Gives Up Paid Job To Run Taxi Business

Ms Wati worked at Fiji Sugar Corperation (FSC) as a typist clerk for 15 years and then worked for Government before she started her taxi business.
22 Feb 2020 12:01
Wati Gives Up Paid Job To Run Taxi Business
Bimla Wati in front of one of her taxis in Labasa. Photos: Renu Radhika

The female taxi driver in Labasa is turning heads because it is an unusual sight.

Bimla Wati is the only woman taxi driver in Labasa. She is a taxi proprietor who owns four taxis.

She has been living at Naudamu outside Labasa all her life.

Ms Wati worked at Fiji Sugar Corperation (FSC) as a typist clerk for 15 years and then worked for Government before she started her taxi business.

It is now more than 30years since she started her taxi business.

“I always wanted to have my own business and not work under someone else,” Ms Wati said.

“I was never been criticised by my passengers; they always motivate. I always feel happy and overwhelmed when I get to meet people who are down to earth,” she said.

She has encouraged other women to come forward and try their hands on driving public service vehicles.

“It is a male dominated field, as women we have the right to give it a go. If men can handle it, women can also so likewise,” she said.

She has two children who both now have their lives and living on their own.

“As a woman I struggled to gain this much of success, there were ups and downs in my life, but I was always supported by my children,” she said.

“I meet different people every day and all sorts of people. From one job to the next I don’t know what day I’m going to have. It’s very diverse and interesting,” she said.

Bimla Wati.

Bimla Wati.

Ms Wati is based at the Waiqele Airport and she only drives during the day.

“It’s is safe to drive from the airport and the passengers are nice and friendly,” she said.

“My motto is to provide good service to the public and help them in time of emergency.”

Although she was robbed once in the last 30 years she would not give driving because she learns something new and gets to meet new people every day.

She now has a plan to support underprivileged kids to bring smiles on their faces.

“I am from a very poor family, I understand there are children who are facing a lot in their lives,” she said.

“My children are now living on their own; I would like to help underprivileged children.

“I still remember I used to help my father on our farm and then help my mother in house work.

“It was a struggle. If I can help I will help.”

Feedback: renu.prasad@fijisun.com.fj

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