Kathmandu’s overcrowded public buses are a daily challenge for commuters, but they are virtually impossible for the visually impaired and people with disabilities. Fortunately there is now Tootle, the motorcycle ride-sharing app, for people like massage therapist Junu Shrestha, 31, who likes the door-to-door service.
“I am a female and a blind one at that. Micros are unsafe, taxis are expensive, but Tootle is affordable and convenient,” says Shrestha (pictured below) who commutes every day to work at a Boudha branch of Seeing Hands, the blind massage therapy centres in Kathmandu.
Chiran Paudel, 35, is fed up with extortion from taxi drivers taking advantage of his inability to see. Paudel tells his female colleagues to avoid micros and taxis, and call Tootle or the other ride-sharing app, Pathao, instead.
“I can’t count the number of times I’ve been cheated by taxi drivers,” says Paudel, who also works for Seeing Hands.