10 days ago
Bullies behind the wheels
I was going for my dad’s treatment at Fatima Healing Center last week. We were headed toward Bhatbhateni from Maitidevi on a taxi. Our taxi driver, like every other cabby in Kathmandu, asked us to pay more than the metered price. We denied giving extra, but he insisted on charging additional. We refused again; he started using foul words on us. I got furious. I said that I would call the police on him.
He said, “Okay, go call the police.”
Then I took a photo of his taxi plate. He rushed out of his taxi and threatened to break my phone. He was fuming and was about to hit me, but I escaped. He started using racial slurs to intimidate me.
When someone questions my nationality and uses inappropriate words, then it’s unbearable to me. I tried taking a video from a distance. However, he reversed his vehicle right at me. I immediately went to inform a traffic police about the incident. However, when we reached the place where I’d last seen the taxi driver, he was nowhere to be found; he had run away.
I reported the taxi number, and the police asked me to call 103 to file a complaint; I did accordingly. The phone operator said that they would call me as soon as they arrest the taxi driver. I waited until the evening to get a call from the police but in vain.
There are many who fall victims to taxi drivers but only a few voices are raised. It’s common for taxi drivers to not operate on meters. Even if they agree, they ask for a surcharge. The interesting thing is that if we have to go to a nearby destination, then they directly say no.
Even more, they look for opportunities to earn more and take the benefit of the situation of passengers who are in a rush. Last year, we came across a taxi driver with a similar intention. He charged Rs 500 to travel from Kalimati to Tripureshwor. The passenger, who had come to admit her husband to the husband, had no choice but to pay.
It is important for us, the citizens, to be aware of our rights and duties. We should unite against such bullies.
Uddin works at Teach For Nepal. He is placed at Shree Terse Secondary School, Talamarang, Sindhupalchowk as an English Fellow.