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“Sorry, what? You are my driver?… I think I have dialled your number by mistake, I have booked an OLA cab for myself.”
Leaving behind such comments and driving in the day as well as night hours is Kanchi Shah (30), a female cab driver for OLA cabs in Mumbai. Working since one and a half years for the company, Kanchi believes she is living her life to the fullest.
Juggling between the two professions of event management and driving, Kanchi claims to be doing what she likes best. The decision of becoming a cabbie was well thought of by her husband and her, Kanchi claims.
“After we brought our new car, we decided to make a side business out of it. Not only that, it was my husband who encouraged me to convert my driving licence to a taxi licence. By doing this, I get to fulfill my passion for driving.”
An Electronics and Telecommunications engineer by profession, when asked if what she does, worries her kin, Kanchi asserts, “Absolutely no! Though my family is completely aware of the difficulty of my work and profession, they supported me. My in-laws have no objection to my work.”
Kanchi claims she has a target of working for specific hours in the night. Though she aims to wrap up by 11.30 pm or midnight, work hours tend to increase sometimes. However, dedication towards finishing her goals gets her going.
“There have been instances where I had to ferry commuters till the farthest corners of the city in the wee hours of the night and I have tried doing it as a professional. However, as I get to choose my working hours and day-offs, I take work only when I want to and make sure I finish it,” Kanchi said.
Though Kanchi claims she has added perks and incentives, it often becomes hectic, she claims. To manage the strain of driving for hours together, she prefers to take a break by getting back home in the afternoon and keeping herself occupied with driving in the morning and evening peak hours to earn better.
While sharing some of her experiences, she said, “I have often seen lack of confidence among commuters on a female driver. To mention one, there was a family completely scared to believe that they were being driven by a female. I could sense this because while I was taking a few turns on bumpy roads, even those who were sitting in the back had put on their seat belts. Some of them even stopped conversing or speaking on the phone, perhaps, expressing their lack of faith in me as a driver,” Kanchi added.
However, nothing deters her, she claims. Expressing how she is a ‘driver by the night’ she said, “I love the peace and the freedom to drive in the night. I think it is much more comfortable and relieving. In fact, my husband trusts me with driving and calls me a deadline-meeting driver.”
“I think I am just trying to do what I want to without any inhibitions and make my place in it. When it comes to safety, yes I do take precautions while driving in the night, but in the end I know I am an inspiration to others.”
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