‘This taxi has put me in the driver’s seat of my life’: Female taxi driver shares inspiring story
“No matter how bad things got, there were always those who supported me,” she says.Updated: Jan 30, 2020 18:43 IST
“My husband and I were discussing the roles of men and women, when I told him, ‘A woman can do everything that a man can,’” says a Mumbai woman featured on the Humans of Bombay page. Turns out, she went out and proved exactly what she said. The woman works as a taxi driver and has shared her journey that’s inspiring many. If you’re looking for motivation to get on with that long overdue goal, this story is a must read.
In her post, the woman explains that she grew up wanting to work and be independent thanks to her mother. “I worked before getting married and continued after. But it was difficult to manage full-time work with my kids and home, so I took up odd jobs,” she says.
One day she read that women can get taxi permits as well and took it up as an opportunity. She bought a taxi and even passed the driving test.
Her husband encouraged her to drive the taxi and soon she began driving the vehicle.
Her first trip was from Lower Parel to Worli with two women. “I was nervous they’d judge my driving; instead they were shocked! They’d never seen a female taxi driver–one of them got me chocolate after the ride!” she says.
Things got tougher for her and she faced opposition from some men in the union but she soldiered on.
“No matter how bad things got, there were always those who supported me; whether it was family, other drivers or even a stranger,” she says.
“It’s been 3 years now and driving this taxi has put me in the driver’s seat of my life–allowing me to be strong and self-sufficient,” she adds. She goes on to talk about her bet with her husband.
Read her entire story to know about the bet and who wins it:
View this post on Instagram
"I grew up watching my mom work & take care of the house after my dad passed away. Seeing her, I resolved to be independent too. I worked before getting married & continued after. But it was difficult to manage full-time work with my kids & home, so I took up odd jobs. Then, I read in the paper that women could have taxi permits too. The opportunity was too good! So I passed the driving test & bought a taxi with my own money. My husband was very supportive & said, ‘This taxi is under your name, you need to learn how to drive it!’ Within a few months, I joined the fleet. I remember my first trip from Lower Parel to Worli, with 2 ladies. I was nervous they’d judge my driving; instead they were shocked! They’d never seen a female taxi driver–one of them got me chocolate after the ride! Soon things got harder. Some men in the union tried to ensure I got no passengers. They’d stop their taxis in front of mine & question my skills. 15 days in, I was struggling to make a U-turn around a pothole; so one of them loudly asked, ‘If you can’t get the basics right, how will you ever drive?’ It shattered my confidence & I cried for hours! But another driver encouraged me to prove them wrong & not let their words stop me! That’s what kept me going–no matter how bad things got, there were always those who supported me; whether it was family, other drivers or even a stranger! Once, an elderly man got into my taxi & said, ‘In my village I’d heard that women are making progress in cities; but this is the first time I’ve witnessed it. Seeing you drive makes me proud!’ At the end of the trip, he gave me Rs. 20! Another time, a passenger was so impressed that she interviewed me, which led to newspaper articles & an appearance on a show. Once, a policewoman wanted to take a selfie with me! Her daughter had told her about me. I was so happy! It’s been 3 years now & driving this taxi has put me in the driver’s seat of my life–allowing me to be strong & self-sufficient. It’s funny how this started over a debate. My husband & I were discussing the roles of men & women, when I told him, ‘A woman can do everything that a man can.’ We placed a bet to see who’d win–looks like I did!"
Since being shared, the post has collected over 26,000 likes on Instagram. Many people have posted comments about her and her story.
“Women can do anything they want in their life! We just need the will to reach where we want and what we want! #soproud!” says an Instagram user. “You did win! I can’t wait to ride in your taxi some day! Good luck to you,” says another. “Truly an inspiration,” says a third.