This was arguably a first in the capital city — an organisation functioning under the State government arranging for a flash mob to drum up support for, and create awareness of, its signature project.
The Gender Park initiative of the Department of Social Justice is gearing up to launch ‘She Taxis’ on November 20 here. In the run-up, the officials approached voluntary youth network Make a Difference (MAD) to publicise the project aimed at promoting women entrepreneurship.
The flash mob was organised on the Museum grounds and in front of a retail store to get as much attention as possible from city residents who were out there on a Sunday evening. Awareness of the scheme is expected to attract more women to this entrepreneurship programme of the government.
The Gender Park is implementing the project with the financial support of the Kerala State Women Development Corporation (KSWDC). The agency is still in the process of shortlisting beneficiaries who will receive loan at 8 per cent interest rate, with a repayment period of six years, to manage a ‘She Taxi’.
Rain Concert Technologies based in Technopark will manage the fleet and install safety equipment, says Special Officer P.T. Mohammed Sunish. Based on an Expression of Interest floated a few months ago, Maruti was chosen as the vehicle manufacturer.
On its launch on November 20, the fleet will have five cars. The project will be extended to Kochi and Kozhikode as well and each city’s fleet will be raised to 100 cars.
“So far, five women have been chosen and applications are coming in,” says Mr. Sunish. Coincidentally, MAD is in the midst of organising its seventh anniversary celebrations. Every anniversary, the ‘MAD week’ programmes consist of collaborations with other non-governmental organisations.
“This time, Gender Park came up with this initiative and the cause is one that is highly relevant,” said Munna Aarish of MAD’s Thiruvananthapuram chapter.
In addition, on the day that the cars are being launched at Kanakakunnu, close to 20 children who are being taught by MAD volunteers in the city may be brought here to interact with the dignitaries who are expected to attend the inaugural ceremony, he added.