Lone passengers especially women are cynical when they sit inside a cab, worried till they reach their destination. Following the success models of ‘She Taxi’ in Kerala and ‘Pink-Auto’ in Jharkhand, the road transport department has embarked on a similar initiative to run all-women cab service in Udaipur. In the first phase, 50 women drivers would be trained and given license under ‘Mission Meera’, the initiative which intends not only to improve road safety but also empower women through providing jobs to them in an entirely new sector.
“Women are safe and cautious drivers and with the increased number of crimes against tourists in recent times, we are sure visitors would prefer these cabs for safety. So this soon-to-be smart city may see alert female drivers through the mission” said Dr Mannalal Rawat, the regional transport officer. The all- women taxi service may begin by the end of the month as few women are already under training, officers claim. The transport department recently organized a workshop in collaboration with the Udaipur municipal corporation and district administration wherein driving school operators agreed to extend free driving lessons to such women.
‘Mission Meera’ was envisaged by the road transport department and entrepreneur Durga Naval who runs a driving school for women in the city. Naval is the third woman in India to have been granted the HMV (heavy motor vehicle) license. Presently there are only two women in Udaipur including Naval who have commercial driving licenses.
Naval has a license to drive trucks and other HMVs while one Manju Khatri has a license for tempo driving. “ Women with underprivileged backgrounds and minimum qualification of 8th class, would be given preference” Rawat said. . The selected candidates would have to take practical and theoretical classes in driving and those who pass the mandatory written test would be granted licenses accordingly. The department would assist these ‘Meeras’ in getting placements in various taxi service providing companies to take the female sightseers for a ride in the city area. At a later stage, the ‘Meeras’ may even be assisted in getting loans to purchase cabs of their own for a startup, authorities suggested.
Via : Press Release / UdaipurKiran.com