There's A Taxi Service For Women In Mumbai Run By Female Martial Artists

    Viira Cabs is run by women and for women.

    Ever since a woman was allegedly raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi, the subject of women's safety on Indian transport has been in the headlines.

    Barcroft India

    As a result, India's Home Ministry advised all states to ban all unregistered web-based taxi firms. Yesterday Hyderabad became the second city to ban Uber.

    Now there is a new taxi firm, Viira Cabs, which is run strictly by women, for women, and whose drivers are trained in martial arts and armed with knives and pepper spray.

    Barcroft India

    Driver Anita Manney, 35, told Barcroft Media: “We feel safe. Before I used to feel insecure but Viira has taught us safety measures."

    Barcroft India

    It was created by 35-year-old entrepreneur and social activist Preeti Sharma Menon.

    Barcroft India

    Many of the Viira drivers are the only people who earn money in their family.

    Barcroft India

    Cab driver Raju Chergat, 36, told Barcroft: “Before, my salary was very low, but now my income has gone up - so it makes a difference."

    Barcroft India
    Barcroft India

    She said: “I am independent. I am not under anyone’s dominance. I am master of my own will and I can take care of my household.”

    Barcroft India

    Photographer and regular Viira Cabs passenger Sajna Sivan told Barcroft Media: “I am a photographer, so I have lot of late nights."

    Barcroft India

    "So when that happens I don’t want to randomly take a car with all equipment. I’d rather get someone with whom I feel comfortable."

    "I usually feel safe travelling but there are times when it gets darker and you have random people making remarks."

    Barcroft India

    Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

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