Women on the Go
Women on the Go
The last meeting wrapped up a tad bit late and Arpita was left with some end minute work. She hadn’t anticipated the magnanimity of the task, which kept her in office till well past mid- night.
Immersed in her work Arpita didn’t realize when all others left, alone in the office, she decided to finish what she had started. Two hours and two presentations later, it was finally time to go home. Her mother’s frantic calls asking her when she will be back had not stopped, ensuring her that she will be with her in less than forty minutes, Arpita rushed down the stairs in search for an auto.
The street which was always bustling with traffic was deserted with not a single vehicle in sight. After walking down a mile, Arpita found an auto. Even though she was familiar with the route, a sense of worry gripped her, she felt unsafe and vulnerable.
She was just minutes away from the turn towards her home but Arpita dreaded each red light and each speed breaker.
Now, just imagine a scenario, where we could completely trust the driver of the cab we hired or if we could simply call up our families and tell them that they need not come pick us up, we will be home safe and sound.
Change is on its way and ladies are taking charge of the wheel, in a bid to ensure women safety a number of organizations from around the country are providing women technical, self-empowerment and self- development training. The idea is to get more women drivers on the road that will not only empower them but also allow women to travel with greater safety and ease.
*Reena Iyer is a young IT professional and has too often work late into the night. Commuting after dark was always troubling. She had to call her dad to pick her up, but now with a cab service with only women as drivers she says “I feel secure and the family satisfied”.
These taxi services have helped increase the mobility of women while also allowing the lady drivers who often come from low-income households to earn a sustainable living for themselves. It's empowerment for both.
‘She- Taxis’ and Azad Foundation have taken the lead in providing such services. Their fleet of taxis is equipped with wireless tracking gear and panic buttons linked to call centers. A model that has worked well till now. Not for profit organizations have replicated this model with the support from state governments.
*Priya who was trained by a not for profit in Delhi in driving and self-defense feels immensely proud and confident of having carved a niche for herself. She drives her own taxi, at her own time and serves only women clients. The feeling of taking charge is exhilarating, empowering and liberating all at once.
Share with us some incidents and stories from your travels and tag a lady driver if you were ever driven by one!
- Anjini Bist
*Name changed to protect privacy
Image source- https://challenges.openideo.com