“A lot of the staff in my office are Indian,” says former Delhi Metro driver
A former Delhi metro driver is now a “community leader” in the country’s capital, after she helped a group of women overcome sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Liat Jha, who is now the Managing Director of India’s First Women’s Travel Agency, says the women in her agency helped to change attitudes.
“They had come in for a sexual harassment assessment and were not confident in themselves and they were not speaking English.
They said ‘I am not confident enough to be in this place’,” she told the NDTV news channel.
“So I started asking them, ‘Why don’t you just speak English?’, and they said, ‘I don’t speak English, we are just women’.
I said, that’s why I am here.’
I asked them, what can I do about it?’ and they answered, ‘You just come in.
We can help you.’
I felt really sorry for them because I didn’t know how to deal with them.”
Liat was part of a team that helped the women to overcome the “cultural conditioning” of being in India, and they have since opened their own travel agency.
“The women came in to get trained in a different language,” Liat told NDTV.
“They were not aware of the language.
They didn’t have any guidance or support.”
The group of six women, who include a mother, sister and a daughter, also used their own savings to open the agency.
They have since expanded to more than 150 offices in Delhi, where they have a dedicated website for customers to book flights and accommodation.
In January, the women launched a new business called Liat Travel Agency and launched a Facebook page in support of the group.
The organisation’s founder, Liat, says she is proud of the work she has done for the women.
“I feel so blessed that I have made my mother proud and the daughters proud and I am proud of them,” she said.
Liaquat Jha has worked in Delhi’s Metro system for the past nine years and says it is important for her to work with women who have faced similar challenges.
“If you have to go to a city and you feel like you are not accepted by society, then you have no choice but to look at other avenues,” she told NDtv.