The Telegraph
Saturday , June 14 , 2014
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Safe pink auto ride for bold women
- Easy-to-spot & secure journey lure for passengers, service awaits nod

Women may soon be able to hail a pink autorickshaw for a safe ride.

Inspired by the successful launch of women-only pink autorickshaws in Ranchi, Bhubaneswar and Trivandrum, the Bihar State Autorickshaw Drivers’ Association has now planned to introduce the same service in the state capital to make women-driven autorickshaws more popular and easily identifiable.

According to the plan, women drivers would drive the pink autorickshaws for the convenience of lady passengers. The association has submitted an application to the transport department on the proposal.

Rajkumar Jha, general secretary of Bihar State Autorickshaw Drivers’ Association, said: “We want to introduce pink autorickshaws for women and driven by women on the lines of the ones in Jharkhand, Odisha and Kerala. Trained women autorickshaw drivers can already be seen on the roads but we want to make their service more popular and easily identifiable.”

The women auto drivers were ecstatic to know about the association’s plan. Driver Neha Verma (30) said: “It’s great to know that the association is trying all measures to make our service popular. I would be really very happy if pink autorickshaws are introduced for women. It would give us a better identity.”

Talking about the journey of women autorickshaw drivers, Jha said: “There are altogether 42 women in the state capital who drive autorickshaw drivers according to their comfort. While some drive both shifts, some drive only in the morning. We are happy to provide a source of income to women who come from lower-middle class families.”

Jha said the association receives good support from the district administration and passengers for running the women autorickshaw service.

“We have not come across any case of molestation with women autorickshaw drivers. The district administration has ensured safety to women autorickshaw drivers. Residents have also behaved very well with them.”

Sources said the initiative taken by Bihar State Autorickshaw Drivers’ Association was really commendable.

The association not only imparted training to poor women but it also helped them procure driving licence and loans to buy autorickshaws. Ten city-based women took to commercial driving of autorickshaws last August and now their numbers have increased to 42.

Jha said: “Five women autorickshaw drivers left the job in the past few months because of different reasons. We hope that no more women autorickshaw driver leaves the job. We would try our best to dissuade them.”

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