Are you cynical when it comes to safety, just like me? Have you ever had to sit in a cab and wonder if the driver is taking you somewhere astray? Then, you wish you had the pepper spray, which is lying back at home.
This is probably due to the vast number of recent cases that has forced us to believe that the city we live in is not safe. I used to ponder on what can be done to solve this problem. Most cab companies brag about using technology to tackle this, however She Cabs seems to have a unique approach.
She Cabs is powered by Andhra Pradesh Balala Hakkula Sangham, a voluntary organization working for the protection of child rights in Hyderabad. They conducted two surveys and found that the most vulnerable are the young working women and girls traveling to-and-from tuition classes, especially during late hours.
“She Cabs“ has women drivers driving you in a GPS tracked cab. Each cab is provided with a button to contact the police. This button acts as an alarm system to contact the nearest police station.
· Women drivers called “Pilots” trained in driving and etiquettes
· The pilots are also trained in martial arts to handle four to five people.
· 24*7 Service
· Affordable price of Rs. 20 per km after the 2nd km. (Check tariff here)
They started on 19th Feb, 2014 with two all-new pink cars. This was started as a pilot project dedicated for Hi-tech city and Kukatpally areas, as these areas have the highest concentration of women employees. “I got no support from the banks and had to invest my money to make sure the project is executed on time” said Anuradha Rao, the proprietor.
The challenge initially was getting women chauffeurs but the real challenge has been the lack of funds. Even though the demand has been very high, right from TCS, which has offered to hire 40 vehicles, to Google, which is also not far behind. The only reason for curbing expansion of She Cabs is the scarcity of funds to buy cabs.
The other side of benefit:
This exclusive transport system for women, by women is a non-profit initiative not only intended at improving road safety but it is also empowering women with jobs in an entirely new sector. Recently, the She Driving School has started to train and empower women from underprivileged backgrounds. The training is provided for free, but comes with condition of working for She Cabs for a year. “At present, 25 women, including the ones from Prajwala, a Hyderabad-based anti-trafficking organization, are undergoing training. The idea is to provide them loans to buy vehicles and run them under the she cabs brand”, said Anuradha.
Hope the APBH Sanham finds a way out to get funds for the cabs and we see them all over Hyderabad. So the next time you see a pink cab rolling on the road, salute the pink donned woman for her courage to have entered the male dominated public transport system.
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