COVID-19 lockdown: Bengaluru cab drivers in deep financial mess

effects of lockdown

Thousands of cab drivers in Bengaluru have had no income during lockdown. Representational image: GoPink Cabs website

RJ Asha from Radio Active 90.4 MHz talks to Jayalakshmi, a cab driver from Go Pink, Bengaluru’s women-only cab service, about the hardships drivers face during lockdown.

Jayalakshmi ferries passengers to and from the Kempegowda International Airport through Go Pink, Bengaluru’s women-only cab service. The sudden implementation of the nationwide lockdown had taken her by surprise. Cab drivers across the city were unprepared for this and are now finding themselves in deep financial trouble, she says.

Employees of the IT/BT sector have the privilege of working from home and getting paid, but workers like Jayalakshmi are left in the lurch. Cab drivers-cum-owners are unable to pay the EMIs on their vehicles. It is disheartening that government has not waived off interests on the EMIs of these cabs, Jayalakshmi says.

The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has provided ration and a few other essentials to cab drivers who provide services to and from the airport. But there has been no government support for cab drivers in general, who can be considered as daily wage labourers. Financial constraints have even driven a few drivers to attempt suicide, Jayalakshmi says.

Jayalakshmi is also Vice President of the women’s wing of Namma Chalakara Trade Union. This union has around 9000 members, 25 of whom are women. The union includes members from services like Ola, Uber, as well as auto drivers.

K Somashekhar, President of the union, had even distributed ration with his own money for drivers in dire circumstances. The union has relayed its concerns to the government multiple times, but there’s been no action yet.

Jayalakshmi believes that distributing Rs 5000 each to cab drivers would help ease their difficulties now. She urges drivers to reach out for help and brace themselves for the challenges that are to come once the lockdown is lifted.

Listen to the Radio Active COVID -19 Special – Jayalakshmi, a cab driver from Go Pink, Bengaluru’s women-only cab service, in conversation with RJ Asha from Radio Active

 [Compiled by Deeksha Sudhindra]

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About Radio Active 90.4MHz 83 Articles
Radio Active 90.4MHz is a community radio that serves as a platform for marginalised communities in Bengaluru.


  1. Hi,I want to travel from bangalore to pune tomorrow…. Is it possible to go.
    Can I book cab for tomorrow if yes please share price details.

  2. How can I earn on inter state routes if m on paid institute qurantined for 14 days on every return trip…I will earn twice a month and pay my earning to quarantine, heard food and facilities are not good in free qurantine adding to it is stakes are high in such facilities. Govt. Should give least home quarantine …for lesser days..

  3. What is the process to apply & what are the documents have to be provided at the time of applying

  4. I’m also a cab driver but I have not registered with any union how can I get the compensation

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