Cab Mein Charcha: Women Cabbies Shift Gears from the Ordinary

Driving for 9-10 years now, Delhi’s women cab drivers continue to draw shock and awe for their choice of profession.

Published31 Mar 2018, 12:10 PM IST
Cab Mein Charcha
2 min read

Producer: Abhishek Ranjan
Camera: Abhishek Ranjan and Anubhav Gupta

Both men and women can press the accelerator.
Shanno Begum, Cab driver. 

In this edition of Cab Mein Charcha, we spoke to women cabbies. Yes! that’s right women cabbies.

Just like men cab drivers, these women also come across good and bad customers on a daily basis. From a man who asks his family to seek inspiration from these drivers to people passing sexist comments, these women cabbies face the good and bad with equal elan. They have been driving for 9-10 years now on the streets of Delhi, and yet they feel their choice of profession continues to draw shock and awe.

Often, people gather around their cabs to get a glimpse of these women drivers. To avoid prying eyes, some women sport short hair to look like a man and in turn avoid unnecessary attention, while few others continue to drive undeterred.

I don’t need a weapon to protect myself, I am enough.
Arti Singh, cab driver

While safety at night is a general concern, these cabbies have never shied away from providing services at night. Shanno Begum, a cab driver, told The Quint that she started the night cab service under Sakha Consulting Wings, a cab service in Delhi. “Women need women cab drivers at night to ensure safety, and that need is our driving force,” said Shanno.

We asked these feisty women if they carry any weapon for self-defence. While pepper spray was a popular go-to thing, some women mentioned interesting objects. Shanno carries a pen which she says can be used to pierce and tear apart the offender’s skin, while Aarti carries a wrench to crack open the offender’s head if it comes to that. Although they hope these objects are never put to use, they prefer to remain armed with their choice of objects.

Like Shanno and Aarti, there are many others driving cabs across the city, and in turn boosting the confidence of women planning to take up driving as their profession.

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