Taxi Service Started By Women, for Women, Launches in India*
By Amanda Froelich
Did you know? Every day in India, approximately 93 women are raped, according to 2014 statistics. To cut down on the amount of violence and harassment toward females, which are still perceived to be the “lesser sex” by many, a new auto-rickshaw service has been launched which is being hailed as a groundbreaking achievement.
The Times of India reports that Pink Auto Service is owned and operated by women, and only serves other females. Founded by the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), the service seeks to ensure women of any age have safe access to transportation. An additional benefit is guaranteed employment with the company. At present, the Pink Auto Service employs 15 women, and 70 more are in training.
Said Gayatri Jariwala, SMC assistant commissioner: “We have a batch of 70 women and 15 are ready to begin work. They have licenses and we also helped them to get work from schools in the area. We have concentrated on girls schools and girl students for women drivers.”
“We everyday read about harassment of women commuters in different cities. This is why we thought of this service which not only provides employment to women but ensures safe travel for female passengers,” Jariwala added.
It is estimated that every month, the 15 employed women will each be able to earn at least 18,000 Rupees ($278.54 USD) — a decent income for most Indian residents.
Pink Auto Service was initiated by Chief minister Vijay Rupani at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Community Hall in Surat over the weekend. In the future, SMC intends on starting a Pink Van Service to employ even more females.