Commuting today is not the same as it was about 5 years ago, the boom of commercialization has taken it to another level altogether. Cab services are high in demand as people resort to booking them, instead of waiting for an auto or a yellow taxi. But, have we ever thought how safe are these strangers to whom we entrust our safety?
A woman traveling by an Uber cab to the airport in Hyderabad got the rudest shock of her life when she realized that the stranger whom she had entrusted to take her to her destination unscathed, could resort to a disgusting display of shamelessness.
In a Facebook post, she calls out the driver for masturbating to her while she was seated in the cab and said that she won’t stop until Uber took some action against the man. She wrote,
Today my #Uber driver thought it perfectly normal to masturbate while dropping me to the airport. As soon as we were on the relatively empty ORR in #Hyderabad, he slowed the car to about a 50 kmph and kept glancing back in the rearview mirror. After about 5mins when I realized what he was doing, I shouted and asked him to stop the car – unfazed, and continuing his act, he very nonchalantly asked me what was wrong. After much screaming, he reluctantly stopped the car, and continued standing on the road until I took a picture of him and threatened to go to the cops.
I was scared- as an alone woman in a still-unfamiliar city. Scared of what else he may do since I’d threatened him. Scared that he may return while I waited on the road for another cab. Scared at how utterly powerless I felt when he blankly looked at me, without an ounce of guilt on his face. And most of all, scared that this was probably not the first time he’d done this- yet he was still out there, just a matter of time until he did the same, or God forbid, did worse with some other woman.
Two days back I was hopeful as I, along with hundreds of other women I know, chose to speak about the sexual harassment we’ve faced. Anger aside, there was also an odd sense of unity in watching so many women #stopthesilence after years and courageously come forward with their stories. Today, I shudder to think how many of these #metoo statuses were because of the same vile men who repeated their actions – only because we were too scared to speak up.
So today, I choose to speak up and I won’t stop until #UberIndia takes responsibility for their non-existent driver verification and complete disregard for their passenger’s safety. I’m also taking this up with the cops to initiate action against this worthless excuse of a man.
#Reshare if you’ve ever been in the same situation, known anyone who’s faced the same; If you’re as sick as I am of the supposed normalcy of these things. Re-share so that more women read this and maybe find the courage to speak up the next time they’re such a situation too. #nomore#yesallwomen
This is not the first time that Uber has faced allegations by women passengers about their drivers harassing them. A spokesperson for Uber India told India Today,
“What’s been described has no place on our app. Our community guidelines clearly reject such inappropriate behaviour. The driver partner’s access to the Uber app has been barred.”
While girls are still dissuaded from speaking up about the daily harassment they face on the streets, this girl chose to speak up about her ordeal so that no other person falls a victim to this driver. The need of the hour is proper background check and verification by Uber, who has faced similar situations in the past too, in India and abroad.