Forty-year-old Shanoo Begum from the national capital did not let her life come to a grinding halt when things went south for her. A survivor of domestic abuse and a mother to three children, her story is one of determination and grit and provides inspiration to many people. With her elder daughter married, younger daughter pursuing a BA and her son still in school, this Uber driver has broken all stereotypes.
Shanoo was physically abused every day by her husband. One day, his abuse crossed limits and he used a grinding stone to harm her but in retaliation she slapped him and then fainted from excessive bleeding. On that day she doesn’t remember who took her to the hospital but she survived the incident. Her husband died three years after this incident and life has not been same ever since. Considering her own life story, Shanoo places a lot of importance on education, says a post by CNBC. And at her daughters' insisting, she 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, says Mashable.
Since she did not have her marks card ready, she recollects how she rewrote her Class X exams at the age of 40. Shanoo then burnt the midnight oil and it took her two years to clear the exams, after which she applied for a commercial licence. Post this, she joined Sakha, one of the early women-only cab services in Delhi. She is now the first woman Uber driver from Delhi.
Talking about the odds of being a female driver, she says, most often men on the road feel the need to race with a woman driver to show their supposed superiority. According to her the biggest loophole in the system is the fact that women don’t get as much respect as they deserve. 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."