Uber pioneer Bharathi Veerath, India's first female Uber driver, has been found dead in a case of suspected suicide. "We are shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Bharathi Veerath," said an Uber India spokesperson in a statement. "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."
Veerath gained notoriety when she became India's first female Uber driver back in October 2013, Quartz reported. She was found hanged June 27 in her Bengaluru home, where she lived alone.
While police are still investigating Veerath's death, suicide is being looked as a possible explanation, with family members telling police Veerath was depressed, according to The Hindu. The depression was said to have been caused by her parents' death a few years ago.
No suicide note was found.
In an interview with Quartz last year, Veerath talked about what it was first like working in the typically male field and how things changed: "The male drivers wouldn't come up and say anything. But I would get stares from them. …It's their [regressive] mindset, but that cannot really stop me from carrying on with my profession. Eventually, they got used to seeing me around, so they wouldn't look."
Before driving cab, Veerath reportedly volunteered for an NGO (non-governmental organization) benefiting the LGBTQ community.