Uber gets brickbats for its 'double standards'

Uproar against rape: Public outcry in major cities, including Bengaluru

Uber gets brickbats for  its 'double standards'

The Delhi rape, which has shaken the taxi industry and commuters alike, is creating ripples in Bengaluru with the online petition on Change.org against Uber over its double standards getting angry responses from residents.

Thousands have signed the petition, started by Delhiite Alina Tiphagne, 24, along with strong comments against Uber. Bengaluru is the largest user base for Change.org in India. A day after the petition was floated, it has already received 39,000 signatures and still counting.

The petition, addressed to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, says, “A 25-year-old woman was raped by one of your drivers. This driver was a repeat offender and had spent seven months in Tihar jail in a sexual assault case. This is outrageous. If your company had run a background check and got police verification done, this crime could’ve been avoided...

What’s worse, you have a three-step background check process in the US, but not in India. These are double standards. I started the petition because I want you to stop the double standards and mandate a seven-year background check for all Uber drivers in India, like in the US. Uber has a strong policy on background checks in the US.”

“On your website you have boldly explained this policy: All Uber ridesharing and livery partners must go through a rigorous background check that leads the industry. The three-step screening we’ve developed across the United States, which includes county, federal and multi-state checks, has set a new standard. These checks go back seven years. We apply this comprehensive and new industry standard consistently across all Uber products, including uberX,” says the petition.

Speaking to Deccan Herald over the phone, Tiphagne, a budding journalist from Delhi, said, “I started this petition shaken by the Delhi rape incident and realised that we could no longer take a cab and think we are safe. With this petition, I have questioned the double standards of Uber. A lot of people are not aware that Uber has such strict rules in US. Why should these companies think that India is a callous country where stringent measures are not required.

”Once we get about 11,000 more signatures, my petition will be presented to the Uber officials. Hopefully, they will change the rules and will have stringent measures like in the US, she said.

Vijay Gore, who has signed the petition, said, “A lot of foreign companies take India for a ride. Unfortunately, our authorities do not carry out due diligence. This is one such case. These double standards must stop”.

Lakshmi Priya, who has also signed the petition, said, “I feel that background check should be very strict not only for Uber, but for all cab companies.”
DH News Service

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