TVS Auto Centre to sell autos by doubling the warranty

Women Entrepreneurs Association of Tamil Nadu (WEAT) on Wednesday initiated 25 women into a 15-day training programme to drive auto rickshaws, taking the support of TVS Auto Centre. Six more women have evinced interest in joining the programme.

Inaugurating the training programme, Regional Transport Officer Balasubramaniam said that unlike in the past when the vehicle used to be so heavy or the driving process was complicated, technology has made the driving experience easier with features such as self starter. He complimented WEAT for training women in the rudiments of driving transport vehicles, and oriented the participants to first aid, road rules, and signals; and the dangers inherent in using mobile phones while driving.

It was important for women auto drivers to understand the topography of the area in which they would be operating, he said, advising them to survey street by street on a two-wheeler beforehand. Mr. Balasubramaniam assured to explore the scope for permitting women to use the inscriptions ‘Women Driver’ or ‘Women Run Auto’.

Vadivel, diesel engineer attached to Highways Department, called upon the trainees to be self confident, but exercise caution while overtaking and while negotiating speed breakers.

Managing director of TVS Auto Centre Uthirapathy said the training would be imparted as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility. For women drivers, the company will sell the autos by doubling the warranty up to 72,000 km, and also extend free medical insurance worth Rs. 4 lakh. Rani Muralidharan, WEAT president, said that the women would have electronic meters fixed in their autos. To begin with, they will be employed as drivers and entrusted with the seven autos owned by the Consumer Protection Council, Tamil Nadu. Subsequently, those desiring to own autos will be linked to bank loans.

N. Manimekalai, professor, Department of Women’s Studies, Bharathidasan University, said women auto drivers would serve as a role model. Auto driving can be made a viable option for self-employment for women in the event of schools and colleges patronising them for their transport needs, she said. The trainees must learn driving with a sense of involvement, bearing in mind customer satisfaction and road safety, Malarvizhi, trainer, said.