Abdul Quadeer’s palace on wheels

- July 17, 2023
| By : Muhammad Tahir |

Cab driver Abdul Quadeer provides basic amenities to customers free of charge to make the journey enjoyable

ITEMS OF NEED: Abdul Quadeer provides items of need to the riders so that they can enjoy the journey

Abdul Quadeer is no ordinary taxi driver. He adds value to his service by providing amenities like snacks, water, medicines, first-aid box, tissues, perfume among other things without any extra charge, making the ride enjoyable.

“I have been driving Uber since November, 2016. I noticed people (customers) asking me to stop the cab midway for water or other essential items. Many passengers face problems such as headache and vomiting. Although we keep normal water, many people don’t like to use water bottles of others. So, in 2018, I decided to modify my car and started carrying these items,” says Quadeer. 

One incident in 2018 convinced him that it was time to change and provide amenities. 

“One day in 2018, after I had picked a passenger from the New Delhi Railway Station, he felt the need of some medicine for what seemed a headache. However, there was no medical store open that time. It was around 7.30 am. After that incident, I thought of carrying essential items. So, I started carrying essential medicines such as Dolo, Disprin besides water bottles, tissue papers among other things,” he recalls.  

“With time, I increased the items and installed other amenities in the cab. I used every portion of the car. From dustbin to shoe-polish to perfume, I also have items for kids. All items are completely free for passengers. There is no extra charge for it,” reveals the resident of old Delhi.

Nothing left out

Quadeer also stocks safety pins for his passengers.

“Assuming, a woman who wears a saree needs it by chance.”

The start: Quadeer took the initiative in 2018 when he realised that riders struggle for basic items on their journeys

The passengers often get surprised upon entering his taxi. 

 “When passengers enter the cab, they get shocked and often ask, ‘Have you opened a shop inside?’ I tell them ‘it’s for you free of cost. If you need anything, you can use it’. I have modified it in such a way that if a passenger needs anything during the trip, he can easily get it himself, even without my help. People use snacks and cold drinks regularly. The reaction of passengers is also very good and they appreciate me for it.”

He ensures that the medicines that have expired are removed and replaced.  

Quadeer also ensures that he attends every call and doesn’t cancel any ride. 

“Normally, I drive in Noida. But if I get any booking from Delhi, I accept. Even today, during heavy rains in Noida, not all cab drivers are picking passengers but I pick passengers and drop them off at the destination. My cab also gets wet and dirty inside and I have to clean it after the ride but I don’t cancel the booking.”

Motivation mantra

Another unique thing you notice about his cab are the pictures of his daughters pasted in the cab. 

“I have three daughters. When I see the first daughter’s picture, I recall her advice: ‘Don’t fight with anyone on duty’. I have pasted the second daughter’s picture on the cab’s meter to whom I have promised to ‘not overspeed and race with anyone’. When I see the picture of the third, I remember to ‘return home on time’.”

There is another sticker on which ek kadam (one step) is written. 

Inspiration: The sticker with ‘Ek Qadam’ written on it and his daughters’ pictures inspire him

“If sometimes there are no passengers, this sticker motivates me to wait (one step). Many a time, I get a booking because of the patience this instils in me.”

Behind the driver’s seat, he has also pasted a piece of paper with a message promoting humanity.

It reads, “We respect every religion. We cannot identify any religion based on clothes. We should be polite to each other. We need to be inspired by what works well for the society.”

Last month, senior journalist Shyamlal Yadav shared his experience of travelling in Quadeer’s cab.

He wrote in a Twitter thread, “Using Uber today @an interesting driver Abdul Qadeer, 48. He has a first-aid kit, many other essentials for riders for free as well as a donation box for poor children, and says [he] hardly cancelled any ride in 7 years. Impressed with him.”

For Quadeer, it is the satisfaction of helping his customers that drives him.

“I feel satisfied. Actually, I have turned my work into a pursuit so I am enjoying the work. I drive around 12-14 hours daily but have no problems. My motive is that everybody should feel good. If you do good, you will get good,” concluded Quadeer.