Victim Of Domestic Abuse, Student At 40, Shanoo Begum Is The First Female Uber Driver In Delhi.
28 May 2018
A woman is a daughter, and then she becomes a wife, later a mother. And all while, she is a lady with determination to lead an independent life. Meet 40-year-old Shanoo Begum, from our national capital, Delhi, who has rebuilt a life for herself and her three children.
Shanoo Begum was physically abused every day by her husband, until one day when he cracked her head open with a brick and in retaliation, she slapped him hard. After which, Shanoo fainted from excessive bleeding. She has no clear memory of that day, but she survived the incident.
Her husband died three years later the incident in 2005 and left a one-room house in Delhi’s Ambedkar Nagar. She was sure of one thing that she would give her children a beautiful life and also that she will stand on her feet head high.
In an initial struggle, to meet her ends and means she worked as a street vendor, then as a cook and also as a maid. It was until later when her children convinced her to learn driving and she took it up with huge enthusiasm because it was a wish she too had.
According to Mashable, Shanoo enrolled herself in the programme conducted by Azad Foundation, which was calling out for those who have completed Class XII to join a six-month-long driving course.
It was infuriating as Shanoo didn’t have her marks card ready. She then went on to rewrite her Class X exam and post two years she cleared it. Then, she applied for a commercial license and joined Sakha, one of the early women-only cab services in Delhi.
Six years later, she signed up for Uber. And she broke the stereotype by becoming the first female Uber driver in Delhi. She bought a vehicle under Uber’s Vehicle Financing Programme, and ever since her daily routine has been roughly the same.
“In the past, my father defined my identity. After marriage, it was my husband… Now my identity is of a driver… I am Shanoo Driver,” she said to Scroll.in.
Shanoo also featured on the TV Talk Show hosted by Aamir Khan, Satyamev Jayate in 2012 to share her experience of domestic violence.
Shanoo Begum is a courageous lady because single-handedly she raised three children and also made them educated.
“I feel as if I have travelled a long journey and now I am at the right destination.” She said to Scroll.in. “I am happy and satisfied after all the struggles,” she added.
In our country, it is believed that women can’t drive properly. And the same myth gets its way along Shanoo. Sometimes, the passenger praises her and greets her with a warm smile, while sometimes she is been asked to watch out carefully while driving as the customer gets anxious and scared on seeing a woman driving. Shanoo, very boldly asks to either trust her of step out of the car.
Her only message to other women is, “stay strong and chase your goal with as much passion as you would like. Women are no less than men,” reports YourStory.
Shanoo Begum is a Woman Of Courage because, being a victim of physical abuse, she didn’t end her life there. She went on to dream big and broke the stereotypes by simply being herself.
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