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Open Letter to CEOs of Taxi Aggregators

  • IWB Post
  •  December 11, 2014


We have had enough of protests and candle marches. Few seem to affect the system; others look like waste of energy. Amidst all this, few people try to deviate their energy into something useful for the society. One such woman is Shivani Singh Chaturvedi, a Delhi-based Artist. In her open letter, she boldly and methodically tells our concerned officials (Govt. and the Taxi Owners) to take some sensible actions that can really ensure her safety. Here is her open letter on behalf of billions of Indian women.

CAN’T WE HAVE FLEETS OF WOMEN CAB DRIVERS? – My Open Letter to CEOs of Taxi Aggregators.

Dear CEOs,

It has always sacred me to travel alone in taxis in Delhi, and now I am even more scared to travel alone. I hope you can guess which incident I am referring to. And just because it happened in an Uber cab it doesn’t make me feel safer in any other cab. Be it Ola, TaxiforSure, Easy Cabs, Meru Cabs, Quick Cabs, etc.

Let me come straight to the point. Of the thousands of taxis plying on Delhi roads, I am sure almost hundred per cent are driven by male drivers. Why can’t we have thousands of female cab drivers on Delhi roads instead (or for that matter all other cities in India)? The general attitude of Indian men, especially those of economically weaker sections, towards women will probably take years to change. And the broken verification and monitoring system for cab drivers is not helping either. The easiest and fastest solution that I see is a large scale recruitment of women drivers.

You might argue that there are not enough female drivers available. I would not disagree with that. But how much time would it really take to find and train eligible young females looking for semiskilled jobs? I have learnt driving not too long back. And as I understand, it should not take more than three months or so for anyone to graduate from a learning driver to a driver with permanent license. Can’t this be done at a mass scale? I am sure with the brains, management expertise, and capital at your disposal, this is certainly not unthinkable. It is only a matter of taking a step in this direction.

The cab service provided by your respective companies is very useful, and I think it fills a large gap in the market. Everything else is great, except for the women safety issue. I am not writing the letter to criticize your services, as I am myself a beneficiary of these. But yes, you will probably gain much more by mass hiring of women drivers, and provide a much safer experience for women commuters like me especially at late evening hours.

I have decided that for at least the next few weeks I will not be going out alone in any taxi in Delhi during late evenings, till I get over my fear. But I truly hope that the next time I call for booking a cab, I get a women driver to ferry me to my destination. Hope you are listening!

Shivani Singh Chaturvedi

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