Why were you depressed?
I had learnt to craft women’s footwear from YouTube videos. I opened a factory and had nine workers. But we couldn’t collect our dues from shoe sales during the Covid times. The shoe factory closed down for the lack of funds.
Didn’t your husband work?
My husband Nasir Uddin used to run a tea stall in front of our house. Aside from making shoes I used to buy tea leaves from the market and sell this at different tea stalls. But many of the vendors failed to repay the money during Covid times. This financial crisis led me to depression.
You took driving lessons then?
Yes I did. The first thought I had after learning to drive was that I have to buy a car. I had some experience of dealing with the bank while setting up the shoe factory. The bank had given me a loan of Tk 400,000 thousand on low interest from the stimulus fund granted by the government during corona period. With that money, we bought plastic products and utensils to sell at my husband’s shop.
Saving up some money from that loan and borrowing some more from our relatives, we bought a second-hand car. It cost us Tk 550,000.
There are hardly any women drivers in the ride sharing service. How did you get the courage?
Since childhood, I have been a bit bold. I would climb trees, ride cycles and all. So I was never scared to drive a car.
Do you drive every day?
No, I drive about 20 days a month.
How many hours do you drive a day?
I always target returning home with Tk 3,000-3,500. I achieve that target mostly. However, when I go out with the car, it is past 10 or 11pm by the time I return home.
Don’t you feel scared when it’s late?
Uber has all of my information on their records. As long as I drive, I’m under their supervision so, I don’t feel scared actually. In case of a danger, you can get help by pressing Uber’s security button. I don’t drive on rent except for Uber. If I’m required to travel intercity or places nearby Dhaka, I take the decision after ensuring the time I’ll be able to return.
Did you ever face any unpleasant situation?
No, but some commuters call back later to talk, but not that many really. Actually in most cases passengers get inspired to drive for Uber seeing me. Even the traffic police praise me.
Has there been any accident?
No, there hasn’t been any accident yet. Uber users have given me a rating of 4.84 out of 5, as a driver. In my opinion, if the driver is educated, keeps cool, is mentally sound and doesn’t talk on the phone while driving, there will never be any serious accidents.
Where do you study?
I’m doing my under-grad in law from a private university. My husband is doing his post graduate at the same university.
How old is your child?
Three and a half.
What’s your relatives’ opinion about you driving a car?
When I visit my in-laws house, I drive the car myself while my husband and child are in the backseat. Neighbours gather around to see the driver daughter-in-law. Many of the villagers also praise me. Even my in-laws are proud.
How’s your financial condition now?
I am studying at a private university. My husband’s studying too. Plus, I help out my siblings also. The loan’s almost repaid while I’ve planned on buying another car with a bank loan. You can say that I haven't had to look back.