Meghna Sahoo, an MBA passout from Bhubaneswar, is the first and only transgender to join cab aggregator Ola as a driver.
For 28-year-old Meghana Sahoo, battling gender issues has been a lifelong struggle. On the one hand, societal acceptance for a transgender isn't easy; on the other, the identity crisis leaves them with minimal access to education, employment, and other facilities. While the narrative and struggle of every transgender remains the same, Meghana decided to chart her own success story.
A graduate of MBA in HR and Marketing, Meghana recently became the first and only transgender to join cab aggregator Ola as a driver. In the driver's seat, she spends eight hours steering the wheels on the bustling roads and makes a monthly income of Rs 30,000, says a Deccan Chronicle report. Before joining Ola, she was working at a pharma company until her colleagues started to discriminate against her for her gender.
“I have struggled to get the same opportunities as my peers do, and be able to earn a respectable livelihood. Driving with Ola gives me independence and flexibility. Plus, I am able to play a role in enabling others to be more accepting and open towards transgenders,” she says.
In a country where access to commercial driving licence to transgenders is a struggle in itself, the local RTO and transport department in Odisha played a crucial role in Meghana's case. Speaking about her experience as a cabbie, she shares,
“Customers have been good to me. Women travellers, in particular, feel safer in my cab. I have also faced no difficulty with the male customers.”
Meghana owns a Swift Dzire and approached the cab aggregator last year, for a possible job vacancy. Since then, the compnay has been receiving lots of queries and “we are excited about this development”, an Olaspokesperson said.
Meghana is married to a transgender rights activist and has a six-year-old son. She often reports for a Odiya publication too, says The Hindu.