She Taxis, the pink and white all-women taxis, has already evoked a good response in the district though its launch is still a few months away.
An initiative of the Gender Park under the Social Justice Department, it was launched in Thiruvananthapuram last month.
An interview conducted by Kudumbasree Mission for selecting the beneficiaries of the project in the district witnessed participation by 118 candidates. “Twenty candidates from among these would be shortlisted towards the end of this month for the initial phase of the project,” said Tani Thomas, district mission coordinator.
Among those who turned up for the interview, 10 women already had four-wheeler licence while the majority of the rest of the candidates held two-wheeler and three-wheeler licences.
Since the plan is to introduce the project within this financial year, a phased launch cannot be ruled out considering the fact that only 10 candidates had the four-wheeler licence and the remaining 10 beneficiaries would have to be given training before being inducted.
Conceived as a self-employment avenue, Kudumbasree would extend a subsidy of Rs. 50,000 to each beneficiary selected for the project. The rest of the investment would have to be a combination of bank loans and contributions made by beneficiaries. The taxis owned and driven by women are meant exclusively for women commuters. Exceptions would be made in the case of male commuters when they are accompanied by women.
The concept has already captured the imagination of women who have to travel during late hours especially at a time when atrocities against women are on the rise.
Ms. Tani felt that limiting the area of operation of She Taxis to the city would leave it unfeasible. “So, we are looking at the possibility of securing permission to operate also in the adjoining suburbs and towns,” she said.
More She Taxis would hit the road depending on the response to the first lot of taxis to be introduced shortly.