Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
App bases taxi operators like Uber and Ola are expected to be comparatively safer modes of transport. But recent incidents of harassment and abuse by drivers, have put a question mark on the cab services. There have been reports of several such incidences misbehaving, abusing, sexual assault, and even rape by the drivers.
One such incident happened in Bengaluru recently. When Aparna Balachander booked a Uber cab on Saturday she wasn’t expecting a horrifying experience.
The cab driver while was expressing his work frustration on a phone call when he suddenly turned to her and started giving her unwanted “advice” on how women should behave. Aparna warned him against his interference in her personal matters. But he went on to abuse her to the point where she had to press the safety button.
Hi guys, I need you all to take a minute and read my traumatic experience with the cab driver while taking a @Uber cab tonight! Help me spread more caution and awareness among women so that they don't go through what I did! @UberINSupport pic.twitter.com/DNm5o1sa7S
— Aparna Balachander (@baparna_93) August 3, 2019
“I told him I didn’t drink and asked him to mind his own business. He went on to call me a slut and also to say things like I can’t even be his keep who cleans his shoes. At this point, he started slowing down the cab and I got extremely scared. I pressed the ‘safety’ button on Uber. Instead of calling me, they called the cab driver and he started telling the customer care person that ‘I am extremely drunk’,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
When she asked the Uber customer service for help, they asked her to leave the cab and assured her they would book her another cab immediately. As she was about to get down the cab driver threatened her saying ‘I will tear your clothes if you don’t leave the cab now.’
Aparna got down at 11.15 pm that night. Despite calling Uber several times, she got no response from the taxi service customer care. And eventually had to call a friend for help. All she received from Uber was a refund of her taxi fare.
Uber support, as a follow-up to the incident, said that they “tried” contacting her. However, Aparna denied any contact from Uber.
“The entire day I haven’t received a single call despite following up with you about my traumatic experience. Why do I have to keep following up for something so serious?” Aparna further added in a tweet.
@UberINSupport @Uber the entire day I haven't received a single call despite of following up with you about my traumatic experience. Why do I have to keep following up for something so serious ? #UnsafeUber #NotSoUber #Uber @PrParameswaran @travisk @dkhos pic.twitter.com/jUbTuLsk7b
— Aparna Balachander (@baparna_93) August 4, 2019
There have been other incidents of harassment by cab drivers too. Recently, a second-year student was allegedly drugged and raped by her cab driver in Delhi. Based on her description, police are trying to trace the cab. However, specific details on which cab service had not been revealed.
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