Life & Style

Mauto Pride aims to empower women and transgenders

Suganya S

Suganya S   | Photo Credit: S.SIVA SARAVANAN

With every auto ride you take with Mauto Pride, you may be empowering a woman or a transgender

Suganya S parks her auto under the shade of a Gulmohar tree at Ramnagar. She is on a 20-minute break between trips. She is one of the women auto drivers who ride for the Mauto Pride app that was recently launched in Coimbatore. “My husband left me two years ago and I have two kids to look after. Initially I was into tailoring but that was not enough to sustain my family. One of my friends suggested I learn to drive an auto. My life is better now. I get around 15 trips in a day,” she says.

The app was launched initially in Chennai in 2018 and now has a fleet of 20,000 autos across 33 locations including Madurai, Trichy and Tirunelveli. There is an option for the customer to choose their drivers from men, woman and transgender drivers. “We started with 100 drivers of which 10 were women. Now we have 19,600 men, 400 women and 30 transgender drivers. The company plans to further organise this sector and uplift the underprivileged through this initiative,” says Yasmeen Jawahar Ali, CEO of Mauto.

Mauto Pride provides the drivers with one and a half months of training that teaches them, besides driving an auto, basic self-defence sessions and counselling. “Most of the women and transgenders who work with us come from an exploitative background. So counselling is important to build their self confidence. Empowerment comes through even the simplest of our decisions. For instance, our drivers are called pilots. We also provide them with badges according to the rating given to them by the riders. All these give them a sense of importance,” explains Yasmeen.

Info you can use
  • The app can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store
  • They have a total of 20,000 autos in 33 locations across Tamil Nadu
  • In Coimbatore, there are 1000 men and 10 women drivers
  • There is no peak time charges
  • Offline booking can be done by calling the number 04443214321

The rides cost ₹25 for 1.8 km and ₹12 for every additional km. It is functional for 24 hours and has an option called Women’s Pride for female passengers. “The service charge of ₹10 is exempted in these rides. To ensure the safety there is double tracking provided with this option. This means in addition to the regular GPS tracking service, there will be an option to share the live location of the passenger with a trusted contact once in two minutes.”

There is a panic button in the app that is connected to the local police station. For transgender drivers one can select the Gender Pride option. “We faced the experience of people refusing to take rides with them in Chennai. So, to create awareness among people, the rides using the gender pride option will be free of cost. However, this option is currently disabled in Coimbatore as the pilots are under training. People can use this option from next month.” The company has many plans for the future. “We will introduce electric autos in Coimbatore by next month. The company has expanded service to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and is on trial run there now. We will be expanding to all the states in the country by the end of this year.”

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 12:16:48 AM |

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