Think Women Can’t Drive? Meet Kolkata’s Only Female Uber Driver
“Yeh Uber hai kya?”, asked my cab driver as we pulled up next to a white Maruti Suzuki Alto that I had booked. My “yes”, was followed by a “Auraat chala rahi hai?!” - a reaction that Sushma Midde is used to hearing.
28-year-old Sushma is Uber’s only female driver partner in Kolkata, and she has completed over 500 trips.
Married to a disabled husband, Sushma says she put her 13-year-old son to in hostel, after which she completely devoted herself to prepare for the life of a driver.
Sushma says she’s used to the surprised reactions of her passengers. “There was a customer who was giving me directions and finally got frustrated and said, ‘Stop wasting my time and pass the phone on to the driver’. I couldn’t stop laughing! Who did he think I was all this while?”, she says while narrating many such stories.
And, how does she handle people who say women can’t drive?
Sushma says that all she wants in life is her own roof over her head and for her son to grow up to be a good person. “That’s it. I have no big dreams”, she says as she drives off to win the streets of Kolkata, once again.