My campaign "Ride With She" started with an online petition on change.org website in August, 2018. The petition asks a cab aggregator company- Ola Cabs to train and hire 200 women from Mumabi to become cab drivers by Women's Day 2020. The petition now has more than 80 thousand supporters. I... Read More
- Ride With She
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I started my campaign #RideWithShe in August 2018. By now the petition has more than 80 thousands supporters. The aim of the campaign is to make cab driving workforce inclusive of women. The ask of the petition is to a cab aggregator company, urging them to train and hire 200 women from Mumbai (my hometown) to become cab drivers by Women's Day, 2020. The ask is quantified, has a deadline and is doable. The campaign focuses on two aspects as an outcome of the implementation of the ask. Firstly, in recent times there have been too many cases where women have been sexually harassed by male cab drivers. And its a known fact that therefore it would be extremely daunting for female passengers to travel alone. Hence women cab drivers are sure to allay these fears. Secondly training women to become cab drivers would help them be self-reliant and earn a living. Cab driving workforce in India is predominantly male dominated. Helping women to be a part of this profession will go long way in breaking the notion that driving is a profession best suited for men only. For the campaign, I had conducted a twitter marathon, where the supporters of the campaign asked then campaign ambassador of the company, who is a well known author in India- Chetan Bhagat, to support the campaign. Many people took part and the hashtag #RideWithShe was trending on twitter and the ambassador too retweeted my tweet supporting the campaign. That was a major push forward for the campaign. The whole episode on twitter was picked up by an online news portal. Adil Hussain, an eminent Indian actor had also sent out a tweet in favour of the campaign. Few months back, the supporters took part in another tweet bomb, where many of them tweeted to the decision maker of the petition demanding a response on the petition. I have also conducted a survey to understand the transportation experience of women, and to even know how welcoming they were of women cab drivers. The response was overwhelming and almost all of them wanted women cab drivers. They even shared how they felt unsafe while travelling alone. Just few weeks ago I got a response on the petition from Supriya Sule, who is a Member of Parliament and a well known women right activist.
About Anushree X Close
I am a second year computer engineering student of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology, from Mumbai. As a changemaker, I run the #RideWithShe campaign which aims at making the cab driving workforce inclusive of women. My social media skills have helped me to garner support for my campaign. The petition for my campaign has more than 80 thousand supporters. I am good at making memes and posters for any campaign. I am also well versed with social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and use them to leverage support for any social cause. Apart from my campaign I volunteer at Fly Higher India NGO which works for underprivileged children across India. Recently I was an event coordinator for one of their events. Being an event coordinator helped me sharpen my skills as leader and as an able communicator. As a student, I am good at debating and recently was even attended Harvard World Model United Nations in Spain, for which I had secured a scholarship. That helped me build a global network. I am also a certified ethical hacker. I am currently an intern at Maharashtra Police Cyber Cell. I also assist in cybersecurity awareness programs for general public. I am also a Sheroes Campus Leader. Sheroes is an online platform for women. They started a campus ambassador program and I was one of the 50 girls selected from all across India. Being Campus Leader helps me put my technical and event-management skills to use. I aid girls from my college to grab good opportunities and gets hands-on training from industry experts.
Ride With She X Close
My campaign "Ride With She" started with an online petition on change.org website in August, 2018.
The petition asks a cab aggregator company- Ola Cabs to train and hire 200 women from Mumabi to become cab drivers by Women's Day 2020.
The petition now has more than 80 thousand supporters.
I had faced a disturbing experience while travelling by a cab alone when I was very young. I had just started to travel alone. The driver, who was a male, started asking me inappropriate and personal questions and when I didn't pay heed, he started driving rashly which scared me a lot. When I narrated the incident, my mom had said that she would feel a lot more peaceful if she had an option to choose a female driver for me. That is when I got the idea for the campaign. And finally when I was 18 years old and had the agency and knowledge, I started this campaign.
The petition till now has 8 petition updates, each one informing the supporters about the progress of the campaign.
The campaign has witnessed two major twitter engagements-
1) The decision maker company had a promotional campaign named #RideWithChetan going on which encouraged their customers to use their services and get a lucky chance to travel with a well renowned Indian author Chetan Bhagat. The supporters of the campaign bombarded the company and the author with tweets saying how they would also like to #RideWithShe. The hashtag #RideWithShe was also trending on twitter. Ultimately the author himself retweeted my tweet and also tweeted in support of my campaign.
2) In the second instance, the supporters of the campaign send out tweets to the company demanding a response and asking them to commit to the cause as soon as possible. More number of supporters took part in this session. This also helped the petition gain more supporters.
The petition was even shared by a tv actress Rytasha Rathore and also by another eminent actor Adil Hussain.
The campaign was even covered by Mumbai Mirror newspaper.
The famous "Sakhi" magazine by Dainik Jagran also shared my story as an individual who overcomes various obstacles to lead her own campaign #RideWithShe
In March, 2019 I had visited Madrid, where I travelled in a cab driven by a woman for the first time. I clicked a picture with her and even told her about my petition. I shared the picture on social media. That gained a lot of eyeballs for the campaign and also brought to light how the Indian transportation industry is mainly male dominated.
I have even conducted a survey with 100+ women participants on their transportation experience and how welcoming they would be to the idea of women cab drivers. The response was over overwhelming as almost all of them mentioned that they would love to travel in cabs with female drivers.
I have even interviewed an author for "Terribly Tiny Tales" - Sanjana Singh, who has written an extremely poignant post about the fears a woman faces while travelling alone in a cab. She too supported the cause of the campaign. The interview was shared with the supporters of the campaign in one of the petition updates.
Recently I got a response on the petition from an respectable parliamentarian and women rights activist- Supriya Sule. She mentioned in her response how she completely supports the cause and believes it should be implemented at the earliest.
My campaign has initiated a nationwide discussion on how the cab driving workforce is predominantly male dominated. And therefore training women to enter such a workforce would lead to breaking a lot of barriers. The success of my campaign will ultimately result in women being empowered and breaking the notion that driving is a profession best suited for men.