Journalist shares her harrowing experience with Uber driver. And it will scare the hell out of you

Quick thinking helped the woman journalist evade an unfortunate mishap during her Uber ride.

Sarwat Fatima Sarwat Fatima Jul 13, 2017
What's even more disturbing is the fact that Uber did absolutely nothing, apart from sending computerized mails in response to her complaint. Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ MarkSpacey

So, you at work and it's getting really late. You don't want to take the metro or the bus, so you book yourself a cab--thinking that it's the safest option available. But, what if your cab driver turns out to be a predator, roaming the streets with not-so-honourable intentions? Scary, no? Unfortunately, something similar happened to Ananya Bhattacharya, a journalist in Noida and her harrowing tale is potent enough to send chills down your spine.

Ananya works with India Today Digital, was returning back home after having dinner at a friend's place.  She booked a cab to take her to Sector 100, Noida , but had little idea that her 15-minute-journey would turn into a nightmare.

"I get into an Uber from a friend's place at 10.55pm. The car starts, driver asks where I had to go. The stench of alcohol and paan hits me," she writes in a series of tweets.

"I tell him the location, ask him to follow navigation. On Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. We take the service lane. In 5 mins, car stops. I ask the driver what happened. He tells me car's run out of petrol. The stretch where he's stopped the car is dark and infamous for crimes," Ananya further writes.
If this wasn't enough to send her into a panic mode, the driver went on to make some calls and informed the people on the other end of the line that he had a woman in the car. The conversation between the driver and his 'brother' made the woman suspicious. Thinking quick, she called up a friend and asked him to come pick her up ASAP.

Fortunately, her friend arrived there before the brother of the driver could and she got out and asked him to end the trip.

We got in touch with Ananya, who had this to say to us: "We, as women, have to take care of our own safety because in situations like the one I faced, expecting help from Uber seems too much to ask for. Their emergency button doesn't work if there is no network, and most of the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway still doesn't have adequate network coverage. My cab did not have a physical SOS button either. In such cases, what do we do?"

"The stretch of road where my cab apparently ran out of petrol is an utterly dark, deserted one. There is not one police van - forget police van, the street does not even have any lights. The police need to increase patrolling on that road and keep their eyes open WHILE patrolling. They cannot just drive by without noticing a stationary car on the side of the road and do nothing," she continues.

What's even more disturbing is the fact that Uber did absolutely nothing, apart from sending computerized mails in response to her complaint. Moreover, this is also not the first incident of its kind. However, it seems like the company has just failed to take preventive measures to ensure safety of the women passengers.

"I am scarred for life because of this incident. However, that doesn't mean I will stop taking cabs at night or stop going out of the house or just stick to friends' cars for a drop back home. That is not the solution. I will not begin living in fear," concludes Ananya.

Also read: Pune woman's creepy encounter with an Uber driver makes me terrified of taking a cab to work.

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