Kung-fu Cabbies! All-Female Martial Artists Cab Company Fights Back Against India's Violence On Women!

By Teresa Thomerson in Feel Good On 10th September 2015


Hey India, way to go on the social activism! We love seeing everyday people and businesses tackle major societal problems in unique and powerful ways. This all-female cab company based in Mumbai is doing exactly that. Viira Cabs is a cab company founded by activist Preeti Sharma Menon which employs only female drivers who all know martial arts.

She is an entrepreneur who wanted to create a safe way for women to travel alone around the city without fear of harassment or violence. After the news of a horrific gang rape of a young woman in Delhi in 2012, the country has been reeling from many more reports of violence against women, a common problem in this patriarchal society.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, an average of 92 women are raped in India every day. The total number of reported rapes rose to 33,707 in 2013 from 24,923 in 2012. Some say that the rise in number of rapes is more of a reflection of the increased number of women actually being brave enough to report these crimes, as the culture of silence can be very deafening in many instances.


Viira Cabs isn't the first taxi company to offer a safe way for women to take transport around the city by only employing and transporting women, as we've seen Sakha Consulting Wings in Delhi as well as the Pink Rickshaw Company in Pakistan based around the same idea.

The Viira Cab drivers are given pepper spray and knives to carry with them, and are trained in martial arts so that if a situation arises, they can protect their customers. Founder Preeti is adamant that her company is going to change the way women live and operate in Mumbai.

"We look at women who really want to make a difference in their lives because the training is very difficult," she said in a video about the drivers she trains and employs.

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"These are girls who are going to be out on the road in the middle of the night and therefore self-defense training is a must. So the best option is to take Viira Cabs because you have a safe driver, a trained driver. It's the safest thing for women to do," she added.

Aside from offering female customers a safe way to get around the city, Viira Cabs also enables the drivers to earn money, and in some cases they are the sole bread winners in their family.

"Before, my salary was very low, but now my income has gone up so it makes a difference," said one of the drivers Raju Chergat in the video below by Barcroft Media.


"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."

Preeti said there is a huge demand for her cabs, which are all eco-friendly, another plus! Their mission is three-fold: to empower women with dignified and sustainable employment, to promote road safety and green transport systems, and one day to become India's premier chauffeur and fleet service.

Although Virra Cabs has been around since January 2011, this is news worth talking about and sharing even today. And for the record, Viira means "courageous woman" which certainly sums up what this business is all about.

We are constantly inspired by women like Preeti and businesses like Viira Cabs which exist to help women life a life of dignity, safety and economic empowerment. We have no doubt there will be many more all-female cab companies offering the women of India a safe way to get around.

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