By Rebekah C
A cab service driven for women, by women, but why would women need a special taxi to drive them around? 32 year old, Shiv Kumar Yadav worked as an Uber cab driver and was accused of raping a woman. A 23 year old woman was raped after the cab driver tried to kiss her. After the incident, the Delhi government prohibited Uber from working within the city. The women of New Delhi came together and came up with their own idea, a cab service driven for women, by women.
The cab service, Meru Eve serves female passengers first, but male passengers are also accepted. The organization has 25 female drivers but plans to have 250 in the future. Not only are the drivers female, but the management team and CEO’s are also female. These pink cabs are provided with panic buttons, pepper spray, emergency phone numbers, and GPS enabled phones. The passengers will be able to see the number of police officers in the city.
They plan to expand the company to more than 25 drivers, to satisfy the needs of the millions of women in the city. Meru partnered with the Delhi police to supply the cabs with safety materials. They also equip the female drivers with self defense training for protection as well as training on how to treat the customers. The response has been overwhelming and people have been calling in to ask specifically for this service. “I really think that women should have the opportunity to be safe, just like everyone else. This is just one more step towards women’s empowerment”, says Vicky Li.
The drivers are paid 20,000 to 30,000 rupees ($322 to $483) per month. This is a higher pay than one of the workers previous jobs as a chauffeur. “You don’t see many women professionals in India. Programs like this build confidence in women to earn a living. They become role models,” says Vimla Mehra, a Delhi police commissioner for administration.