There are certain things you cannot relate to a woman i.e. drinking and driving, not following traffic rules, and indulgence into any kind of clash on road. But then also it is a common perception that if you see anyone driving badly on the road you instantly say – a female must be driving. Because of this notion, few years back it was impossible to imagine a woman driving a cab. But nothing remains forever and so does these thoughts. God believes in change, so seeing women cab drivers on roads is not a dream any more but a reality. Delhi roads have about 50 professional drivers. With time the number will increase, as demand for female drivers is growing. This will help in breaking the gender barriers on the roads. To promote this, a veteran actress Sridevi was driven to Design One by a female taxi driver.
Initiatives of these kinds are taken by voluntary organizations and NGOs with assistance from the government. Sakha Consulting Wings is doing the same and providing safe transport solution to city women by providing female taxi drivers. This project has been initiated by Meenu Vadera of the Azad Foundation. This is a voluntary group which helps disadvantaged women look for employment . They select women from the minor sections of the society and then train them to professionally drive cabs. Female drivers are also trained in self defence and car maintenance. The job gives them a better life as well as a socio-economic freedom.
Mumbai roads, like Delhi, also have all-women cab drivers taxi service by the name of Priyadarshini Taxi Service. Women must be empowered and work beyond the conventional job of making papad or pickle. These are the wording of Susieben Shah, the founder of Priyadarshini Taxi Service. All female drivers are from lower middle class who are challenging a big myth that women cannot drive well. Training of three months is given to female drivers, which is granted by government. But an apparent question of safety of these female taxi drivers comes into picture as these female drivers like their male counterparts have to travel in the wee hours of the night. To face such a situation boldly, female taxi drivers are fully trained in self defence.
This is a commendable job and for sure helps in changing the old perceptions and the way society has divided male and female tasks. Society is changing and changing for the good. Even Delhi buses now have female conductors though the number is very less as compare to male conductors. To bring such a huge change is not an easy task but like any other task has many problems on the way to success.
Nothing can change on its own but needs a great push. Present situations demand this and it is very important that society starts thinking in a more constructive manner and respect women, accept her even in odd jobs like this and treat her as a human being. All these efforts will really make a big difference and the way society used to think and act.