It is the 21st century and transportation has become much more convenient through app-based cabs that also ensure safety as drivers are registered with the company.
Despite this, we still find plenty of crimes against women by the cab drivers not just at night but also in the broad daylight.
Challenging this male dominated profession, Meghna Sahoo and Rani Kinnar, two transwomen, became cab drivers of Ola and Uber respectively, in India. They are setting an example to fight gender stereotypes and are making cabs safer for women.
Just like the other struggles, these two bold souls had to go through several hurdles to get accepted as cab drivers. Meghna Sahoo, who holds an MBA in Human Resources and Marketing is also a popular social activist in Bhubaneswar. Rani made it through a rough past where she used to beg on the railway platforms and then became an auto-rickshaw driver to be a cab driver today.
Meghna’s journey wasn’t easy as Ola was skeptical about whether it would be a good idea to take a transgender as a driver. After much difficulty, she got support of the higher officials of Ola and became the first transgender woman cab driver.
Speaking to ANI, Meghna said, “I struggled to get the same opportunity unlike others and it is difficult for transgender people to get jobs and driving training/ license, etc.”
Rani was encouraged by an ex-cab driver from the LGBTQIA+ community who worked with Uber. Today, she is also India’s first five-star-rated cab driver for Uber. Rani spoke to Odisha Bytes and said, “I got a 5-star rating for my cordial behaviour and respect towards my customers. Especially women feel safe riding with me.”
The women passengers claim that they feel much safer and comfortable traveling with them.
These cabbies from the trans community are also inspiring other people from their community to take up jobs as cab drivers. It is the 21st century and it is time that we welcome this change and choose equality over stereotypes.