What She Experienced after Arrival at Bangalore Airport will Assure You about Safety of Solo Women Travelers in India

December being the busiest month of winter travel and air passenger traffic being close to the pre-pandemic numbers; Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru airports have been in the news for all the chaos and congestion in the departure and arrival areas. Amid the news headlines and social media posts of frustration over excessively long security check lines and immigration clearance delays, a traveler shared her happy story of being safe and helped after her international arrival in “Namma Bengaluru”.

solo women travelers India, women-only cabs from BLR Airport, Go Pink Cabs Bengaluru

Picture Credit: Piyu Dutta | Twitter

Piyu Dutta, MD of a startup and the founder of LeadHers (a non-profit working to level the playing field for women), landed at Bangalore’s Kempegowda Airport past midnight two days ago. There was no heavy rush for immigration clearance at that odd hour. She smoothly exited the terminal and walked towards Airport Taxi. “Surprisingly, there was no queue at all,” she heaved a sigh. Some drivers were standing outside leaning against their cabs, while some others were sitting at the steering wheel in cabs. They directed her to a cab towards the end.

The eerie silence of the night was disturbing her. “Ma’am, are you a single lady passenger? That pink taxy is for you,” a person unexpectedly approached Piyu and said pointing out to a pink taxi. Down with jet lag on an international flight to Bengaluru, she was relieved to see a lady driver. She felt assured of being safe past midnight. “I could catch up on some sleep peacefully, as she would take care of me all the way to my final destination,” Piyu smiled and muttered to herself.

Launched in 2019, Go Pink Cabs is one of the initiatives that Bangalore International Airport and the state government have jointly taken for the safety of solo women travelers. Equipped with GPRS and emergency safety features, Go Pink Cabs offer women-only service round the clock. The best thing is that women drivers are trained in self-defense.

“Well, the story does not end here,” Piyu Dutta wrote on LinkedIn. The cab slowed down as Brigade Road, a most happening commercial hub in the city, was teeming with Friday night revellers. All of a sudden in her drowsy state, she found to her surprise that she left her duty-free shopping bag hanging on the trolley at the airport and thought that the chances of getting the bag lost at a busy airport were negligible. She told the cab driver Swetha about it in a regretful voice while waiting at a traffic signal.

“Ma’am, should we return to the airport?” Swetha responded immediately. Before Piyu could say anything to her, Swetha called a fellow driver at the airport, told her about what happened, and connected Piyu to the team leader. She helped him identify the duty-free shopping bag, and he confirmed having the bag in their safe custody. Without any delay, the Go Pink Cabs driver steered the wheels back to the airport for 30 kms again. Swetha informed the team leader about their traveling back to the airport. Piyu received her bag intact.

“The responsibility to look after the safety of passengers and safekeep their lost items, is not just a policy, but a culture that I am proud of. The airport was bannered with “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (meaning the world is one family), and my incident reiterates just that. Big claps for Swetha, my superhero,” Piyu concluded her story on LinkedIn.

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