“Ladies Driver Chalega??” Prepaid Taxi Booking Guy at Mumbai Airport


Would you take a cab driven by a lady? Nobody asks whether you are okay with a tobacco chewing cabbie or a rash one or one with a smelly cab or any other real issue. But, they are apologetic about the gender of the driver.

It’s 2018 and women are still stuck with the label: bad driver.

What makes it worse is that most women just offer a sheepish smile or at best a token protest whenever we hear a man say, “Look at that car, must be a female driver.”

Clearly, there is a bias against women drivers. But, do you ever tell off your husband or father or brother or boyfriend or friend?  Don’t they understand that the odds are 50-50?

Well most of them act like they don’t. So even if the odds play out in favour of women, none of the men ever acknowledge it. The most common thing they mutter is “Hmmm I am usually right, but well this is an exception.” So the myth continues.

However, when this takes the form of gender discrimination in the workplace, it is high time that women and men who care about women rally around these women drivers and show our support in large numbers.

I am talking about the prepaid taxi service at Mumbai airport. The guy at the booking counter actually asked me whether I was ok with a woman driving the cab. Later, I asked the cabbie why I was asked that and she said:

“Ye aadmi logon ka ego rehta hai. Unko lagta hai achchi service nahin milegi toh woh mana kar dete hain. Maine kitne logon ko bola hai ki agar aapko service thik nahin laga toh main khud aapko paise return karoongi.”

Basically, she had to prove that she was a good driver by offering to return the booking amount if the customer was not ok with her driving skills. However, after reaching the destination, the customers did not have any complaints.

But, many of them pre-judge and refuse their services. So the staff at the booking counter always checks with the customers. These are men who are educated and talk about women’s issues on their Facebook page and are proud parents of little girls. I am sure if you asked them what do they think their girl will be when she grows up, they will say that they are raising their girl to be anything she wants to be: doctor, engineer, astronaut, scientist, rock star, writer, pianist, martial artist, tennis player…

Anything but a decent driver, eh?

If in a metro like Bombay where there are female bus drivers and auto drivers, it is shocking to see that female taxi drivers are not the norm.

Do you think the men who refuse to be driven by female drivers in Mumbai, will say that to a woman cabbie in New York?

When you go abroad, you treat their public transport staff with respect ‘coz you spend in dollars?

Next time you are tempted to point out bad driving on the road, don’t make it a gender issue. Remember, it is a 50 % chance and that you are not a genius for spotting a bad driver who happened to be female.

To the men who refuse to be driven by female drivers, I have one last thing to ask, “Will you step out of the plane if you find out that the pilot is a woman?”





that a lot of men were opposed to women drivers. They had pre-judged and felt that the service would be lacking. She



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