NGO plans to start women-driven taxis

Fazed by the recent incident of rape by a cab driver in Delhi, Azad foundation is planning to start exclusive women-driven cab service for female commuters of Jaipur. 

The Delhi-based NGO is in the process of imparting training and driving lessons to the women hailing from poor and needy families of the city. After completion of training and obtaining commercial licence from Rajasthan Transport Office (RTO), the new brigade of women drivers will hit the roads to provide safe commute to city women. 

“So far 85 women have registered with us to learn driving. Of these, 20 have completed their training and eight of them are working as drivers to high profile women of the city,” said Anita Mathur, project coordinator, Azad foundation, Rajasthan.   

Mathur said that commercial licence is issued by RTO one year after issuing permanent license. Presently, around 10 women have got their permanent licences. Once they get commercial licence, foundation will start its cab service. 

“To operate a cab service, we need a good number of women drivers having commercial licence to drive. Once we achieve the desirable number, we can start the cab service by end of next year,” said Mathur. 

The six month long rigorous training programme of these drivers comprises of 12 segments which include learning driving, maintenance and repair of automobiles, legal knowledge, communication skills, spoken English, self defence training by Rajasthan police and first-aid training by Fortis hospital.

 “Its a comprehensive training programme that covers all aspects to help them stand apart. Right from learning driving to communication skills and self defence techniques, we teach them all things they need to become professional drivers,” said Mathur. 

After completion of training and getting permanent licence, the organisation will enter into an agreement with women clients to place these drivers at a minimum monthly salary of Rs 6,500. 

Mathur said that Azad foundation through the agreement ensures that women drivers are not forced to work after 8 pm and they are given weekly-off on Sunday. Presently eight women drivers are serving in high profile households and organisations.  

The high dropout rate among trained drivers is one of the biggest problems for Azad foundation. After completing the training programme,  a number of women drivers under the influence of their respective families refuse to adopt driving as profession. 

In a bid to fight such taboos, Azad foundation is running massive awareness campaigns in slum areas to motivate the needy families and their girls to adopt driving as their profession. 

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