India's First Female Uber Driver Found Dead

'She was an inspiration to many driver partners and riders'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2016 12:13 AM CDT
India's First Female Uber Driver Found Dead
A smartphone is mounted on the glass of an Uber cab in Mumba.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, file)

The life of Bharathi Veerath, a trailblazing cab driver who made headlines when she become the first woman to drive for Uber in India, has come to a tragic end, authorities say. The 40-year-old was found hanged in her home in Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, this week, and authorities believe the death was a suicide. Veerath, who started driving for Uber in October 2013, told Quartz last year that she had to deal with plenty of stares from rival taxi drivers in a country where few women drive. "Eventually, they got used to seeing me around, so they wouldn’t look," she said.

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Bharathi Veerath," an Uber spokesperson tells the Huffington Post. "Bharathi was a positive person and one of our top women driver partners. She was an inspiration to many driver partners and riders. Our thoughts are with her family." Veerath's sister tells the Hindu that she had suffered depression since the death of their parents a few years ago. (Uber has made it easier for women to get around in Saudi Arabia, where women who use public transportation are sometimes seen as "lacking morals.")

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