Meet Meghana Sahoo: The First Transgender Ola Driver

After struggling at several jobs, Odisha's Meghana Sahoo finally found work with Ola, becoming their first transgender driver in India.

Finding employment as a person of the third gender is hard in India and Meghana Sahoo, a resident of Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, got to experience the struggle first-hand. Despite having a degree in MBA in HR and marketing, 28-year-old Sahoo faced persecution in the workplace, keeping her from finding a stable job. Until last month, when she found employment with cab aggregator Ola and became their first transgender driver in India.

Sahoo, who made headlines in 2017 after becoming the first transgender woman to marry a man in Odisha, says, “If we wish to work, but nobody respects us, then no one would want to employ us. Without any support for livelihood, the transgender community will continue to suffer.”

Earning a handsome pay, Sahoo, is also an activist and a journalist, finds sitting behind the wheel refreshing as she often finds a lovely company in her passengers. With her bold new venture, she hopes to rid the transgender community of the stigma and make way for others to step up and find better employment.

“We only want for people to be sensitised towards the transgender community, because only then can we be recognised as mainstream,” she says. “We should be respected because without respect, nobody can do anything.”