Cab driver Haya Faisal opens up about her journey as an independent single mother
Women in Pakistan have long found themselves at the short end of the stick in society, rendering it hard for many to feel truly independent. However, some manage to rise above their circumstances and shatter glass ceilings and Haya Faisal is one such example.
Haya, a 30-year-old single mother of four young kids, took to Facebook to advertise her cab services not too long ago. Before long, she found herself the focus of attention as her post quickly spread and went viral, garnering over 49,000 shares on the first day.
The young mom sat down with ARY News on 16 Nov. to talk about how she decided to take the leap and turn her circumstances around. “I am a single parent and I am not much qualified. I got married when I was 17 and now that I am 30, I started feeling depressed not knowing what I should do,” she shared.
Haya had learned how to drive with her father and while people suggested that she should try and continue her studies, she decided to make use of her driving skills and made a Facebook page titled ‘Pick and Drop by Haya Faisal’. She then got a post shared on there and the rest is history!
What hurdles did she face from her family when she decided to be a cab driver? Haya shares that the reaction was not always positive. “People would say things like, ‘Is this the only thing left for you to do? Is there nothing you can do from home?'” she opened up, adding that she had only one goal to motivate her.
“I want to teach my kids a lesson that sitting at home will get you nothing. I don’t want them to see and learn that their father isn’t doing anything and their mother is also sitting at home while money comes in. I want to set a good example for my kids,” relayed Haya.
Haya also opened up about her experience driving around women in her car, sharing it was a little disheartening for her in the start when she would wait for hours for people. However, she has since struck a balance, realising that it’s a part of the services she provides; she takes on round-trips to and from events, for example, wedding parties and hospital visits.
“Some people are really good to me as well, like the family I had yesterday. Someone from them had an eye-surgery and they all invited me over for breakfast with them as well,” shared Haya. She has had her fair share of bad experiences as well, including girls disappearing after a ride without paying her.
It’s been three months since Haya started her journey as a cab-driver and it has enabled her to be financially independent. “Many girls have started approaching me to join my team, asking me to hire them. I have even gotten calls from investors who tell me they love my idea and want to work on it further with me,” she opened up.
Haya has quickly become an icon and a beacon of hope for other women struggling to make ends meet without a decent education in the country and while her story may be unique right now, here’s hoping more women develop the courage to reclaim spaces.