No icon

Indian drivers’ fate uncertain in Saudi after they allowed women to drive

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s historic decision of allowing women to drive cars has surprised to a segment of Indian expatriate population that is exclusively dependent upon driving itself. The sensation news of women driving was main agenda of topic among family drivers on Wednesday.

Most of them are concern about their jobs and others believe that it would ease their hectic work load to some extent as women can go drive.

Time will decide our fate and future as now Saudi women will start to drive said Musheeruddin, a family driver who hails from Karimnagar. He asserted that prospects of the employment as a driver would be less in future.

“I was thinking to ask for the increment of SR 200 in my salary but after hearing that the women are now allowed to drive cars, I have decided to keep quiet for the time being” says Rambhupal Reddy, hailing from Kamareddy district and works as driver for a Saudi family in in Riyadh.

Many Indian drivers are employed to drive their female bosses to office and back.

“If my madam can drive to office by her own what is my need” asks another Telangana driver Sayeeduddin. He said that he drives only from her employer’s house to university and back and at times to market.

“I shuttle between four schools at different timing with tight schedule without interval” says a Telangana driver Mohammed Waseem, hailing from Metpally of Telangana who works for a Saudi family in Jeddah. “Not only me, but entire family including parents and children spend hectic time in afternoon until I pick them all and drop at home”, he added.

With the historic decision, “my madam (employer’s wife) will be able to pick children from a school near to home”.

A house driver plays an important role in Saudi household where women were not allowed to drive.  Most of family drivers come from India and majority of them hailing from Uttar Pradesh followed by Telangana.

There are no accurate figures available in public domain about existence of number of Indian drivers but the figure is likely over 7 lakh based on domestic visa issued to men.

The average salary of house driver is SR 1500 -1700 corresponding into Indian Rupees 26,000 to 29,000.