9 August, 2015, Hindustan Times
The all-woman cab service “Shakti Vahini” has rolled out its cars on the Bhopal roads, assuring a hassle-free journey to women passengers. These pink cabs, however, will be plying on just two routes – LNCT to Gandhi Nagar and LNCT to Signature City – as of now.
“We had applied for all the 15 routes but got permission for just two. We would like to cover the entire city and run our vehicles on all the routes,” said Sudesh Pawar, chairman and managing director, Aptech Infra, the company which has launched the service recently.
“Response to our service has been good. Therefore, there is no reason for us to hold back and not expand our operations, but we can only do it once we have permission,” Pawar said.
The pink cabs have women drivers dressed in pink apparel, and they would allow only women passengers in their vehicle.
“Fundamentally it’s a cab service for women. There can be some exceptions like a father willing to accompany his daughter or a brother going with his sister,” said Vinay Sharma, one of the operators of the cab.
Local officials of Tata Motors, who are supplying vehicles for the service, are overwhelmed by the response from women to their training camp held to identify and train women drivers.
“We organised a 45-day training programme for woman drivers in Bhopal and a large number of candidates registered for training,” said Sanjiv Rao, a sales department official at Tata Motors.
Women drivers for the cab service are being hired from among the women trained at the camp.
Aarshin, a driver employed with Shakti Vahini, said: “Driving can be a good employment option for women. We have not only been imparted training in driving but also in ensuring security of women passengers in public transports.”