Aishwarya Ramesh

Uber tweaks route colours in app... support of the LGBTQ community this Valentine’s Day. Saakshi Verma Menon – Head of Brand, Strategy and Campaigns, Uber India and South Asia spoke to afaqs! about the change.

Love is in the air and in many brands’ hearts too. Many of them are going with the traditional messaging using red, pink and hearts and flowers, but Uber is one among the few brands who are using Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate love of all types.

“Uber as a brand has always stood for being inclusive. We’ve shown our support for the pride movement globally and this is our effort in India” Saakshi Verma Menon – Head of Brand, Strategy and Campaigns, Uber India and South Asia, told us. Uber’s Valentine’s Day initiative is in the form of a petition addressed to Unicode Consortium. The petition asks for the creation of a rainbow coloured heart emoji and so far, the petition has garnered 3,683 signatures.

“Apart from these initiatives on Valentine’s Day, we also have a group called Uber Pride. It is designed to support and assist allies.” Menon says. “Last year, when there was a transgender driver named Rani who needed financial assistance, our employees all pitched in and raised the money she needed to make the deposit on her vehicle”

We asked her about how it would have worked to “Tech is at the heart of everything we do. This is not the first time we have changed the map to reflect a stance that we are taking” she replied. On September 6 in 2018, when Section 377 was decriminalised, Uber had changed the colours on the map to reflect hues of the rainbow to show their support.

Going beyond making changes on the app, Uber's food delivery business Uber Eats has the distinction of being the only delivery app in India to employ a transgender delivery associate. Preetisha Premkumaran was born in Puducherry and her marriage to G Premkumar, a trans man, helped them script history as Tamil Nadu’s first transgender couple.

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