She was Uber's first ever woman taxi driver in Bengaluru and had famously driven Biocon Founder-CEO Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw on the occasion of Women's Day in 2014. On Monday, Veerath Bharathi was found dead in her rented home in Bengaluru and is suspected to have committed suicide.
Her cab was found parked outside her house for a long time, which led neighbours to check on her, reported The Times of India.
The landlord of her rented house found the door was locked and when he looked in through the window, saw her body hanging from the ceiling. There was no suicide note found, reports News 18.
The report quoted unnamed police officials who said that Bharathi had wanted to return to her hometown and had told her landlord about shifting the gas connection there.
Bharathi had moved from her hometown in Telangana to Bengaluru in 2005 in search of a job and used to support her family by working as a tailor. But according to a profile done by Quartz in 2015, she learned how to drive with the help of an NGO Sangama in 2007 and got herself a driving license.
After about seven years with the NGO, she went on to join an all-woman cab service called Angel City Cabs and worked with them for about a year and then went on to join Uber.
Five months after she joined Uber she was the face of their campaign on woman's day when she bought herself a new car and drove the CEO of Biocon. And was praised by the CEO:
In its statement at the time, Uber said, "Bharti, a budding entrepreneur herself works flexible hours on Uber, earns enough money to pay off her car loan, in addition to taking some home to support her family."
After reports of her death, an Uber spokesperson said in a statement:
"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Bharathi Veerath. Bharathi was a positive person and one of our top women driver partners. She was an inspiration to many driver partners and riders. Our thoughts are with her family."