The Pink City will soon have a new a mode of transport that will be a giant step ahead in empowering marginalized women. The ACCESS Development Services has come up with a new initiative — ‘Pink City Rickshaw Company which will have 200 enthusiastic, well trained women driving the first and one of its kind, stylized environment friendly e-rickshaws. An arena that was till now dominated by men will now see smartly uniformed women drivers taking the tourists around the city.
Designed in a chic and classy way by Pink City’s ace designer Ayush Kasliwal, these pink and golden hued rickshaws will provide a new livelihood source and economic empowerment for young women from marginalized backgrounds, establish a profitable a public limited company with equity participation by the women and offer an eco-friendly option to address the problem of growing emission in the city.
Telling more about the initiative, Associate Vice President, Access Development Services, Radhika Kumari said that these women drivers will also go through an intensive training not just in driving but also in soft skill development. An interactive voice response system (IVRS) in these rickshaws will be another advantage available to the clients by way of which they can get information about what they are seeing.
The Pink City Rickshaw Co. aims to tie up with hotels and travel agencies for taking foreign tourists around the city in these rickshaws on curated routes which will give the tourists a unique shopping as well as sightseeing experience.
Most of the women who are being trained were earlier restricted within the domestic sphere in low paying and irregular jobs like embroidery and stitching. This is the first time that they have been given an opportunity to drive. In fact, some of the women had never even been without burqhas in public spaces. But this job will instill in them confidence and a sense of self sufficiency. The project is looking at training 70 women drivers by the next tourist season in October.
On being asked if they are scared about taking up the new venture, one of the rickshaw drivers Maya says: “I am not afraid at all. This job has a fixed timing and regular income and will aid greatly in supporting my family. And I have stringent replies for those who will try to bring us down.”
This, indeed, is a great way to empower women!