In the rolling thunderstorms that hit Delhi yesterday, 4 EDians tried to book a cab. After failing miserably half a dozen times, we finally got one.
But instead of the male name we expected, the app said Mamta was coming to pick us up.
Shocked and confused, we waited for the cab to arrive to see whether or not we were hallucinating.
Just think about it, a FEMALE. UBER. DRIVER.
In Delhi of all places, quite unbelievable. We were joking amongst ourselves that this is either an elaborate prank or the driver has misspelled his name.
But as we were soon to find out, Mamta actually did come to pick us up. Driving like a bawse in the torrential downpour that had hit Delhi. It was not a man named Mamta, or someone saying “ye prank hai, camera udhar hai dekho”.
In the cab, we struck up a conversation with Mamta, who is a lovely person to talk to, by the way, smiling and laughing all the while we talked.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation we had:
ED: So, how long have you been driving for?
M: Abhi toh one month (A month, give or take).
ED: What made you get into this? A female cab driver in Delhi is not exactly a career that girls choose.
M: Mere papa bhi driver hai, voh truck chalate hai, Delhi se bahar rehte hai. Unko dekh ke hi bas maine chalana shuru kar diya. (My dad is a truck driver, he lives outside Delhi, I wanted to drive like him, so I did)
ED: So your family is supportive?
M: Haan, family ne sabhi ne support kiya, khaas kar ke papa ne. (My family was very supportive, especially my father)
ED: When you signed up on Uber, did you face any problems?
M: Nahi, Nahi, aisa kuch nahi (No, nothing like that)
ED: What time do you drive normally?
M: Subah se raat 9 baje (From the morning till 9 in the night)
ED: What is the reaction of your passengers when they get into your car?
M: Oh wow female Uber driver, voh bhi akeli (Oh wow, a female Uber driver, and that too all alone)
ED: Do you get any special treatment from your passengers?
M: Kuch toh bahut bahut bahut special feel karwate hai. Compliment karte hai, ke acchi chala rahi hi, aur app mei bhi review mei likh dete hai. (Some make me feel very very special, that compliment me on my driving and review me well in the Uber app too)
ED: That’s amazing. But don’t you get any special support from Uber?
M: Nahi (No)
ED: Have you encountered any rude passengers? Or someone who passes cheap comments at you?
M: Comment paas karne vale toh nahi, rude zaroor mile hai. Kehte hai, itne time mei toh ghar pahuch jaati hu. Mai kehti hu, jam hai toh kaise chalau? Udaa du kya gaadi? (I have not encountered anyone who passes comments but have found many rude people. They say I would have reached home by this time, but what can I do if there is a traffic jam? Make the car fly?)
ED: What about traffic cops? What is their reaction when they stop you?
M: Surprise toh hote hai, fir kehte hai ke ladki mehnat kar rahi hai, chorh do. (They do get surprised, but they say this girl is doing hard work, let her go)
ED: So you’re actually the only female driver in Uber? Or the only female cab driver in Delhi?
M: Nahi, sirf Uber mei akeli female driver hu. Aur apps hai jismei ladies chalati hai aur ladies ko hi pickup karti hai (I am the only female driver in Uber, there are other taxi services operated by women who pick up women only)
ED: Do you think girls can get into Uber as a proper job?
M: Haan aa sakti hai, accha hai idhar (Yes, they can come, it’s good here)
Mamta is an inspiration to a lot of girls who want to get into unconventional careers and strive for equality. She has truly broken another glass ceiling by entering into a typical male-dominated career and making her place there. A special thanks to Uber India as well for making her job as hassle-free as possible. Here’s to hoping more female under drivers join the fleet.
We wish her all the best for the future and that she gets 5 stars on all her rides.
Update- We received a message from Uber on their reading the story that Uber has quite a few women driver partners in Delhi.
It is indeed heartening to hear that there are other women like Mamta driving with Uber in Delhi. We hope we get to talk to them soon too :)
All images and videos have been captured by ED bloggers
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