KOCHI: For the first time in the state, senior taxi, will be launched here in the city with drivers trained to deal with senior citizens with care and cater to all possible contingencies on the wheel. The taxis will have the label of 'senior taxi' in them if the drivers choose to use it.
The senior taxi is the brainchild of 'Age Friendly' initiative of Magics NGO. The NGO along with Kochi corporation and Indian Medical Association- Care of Elderly has been aiming at making Kochi an age-friendly city.
"The drivers are selected by ward members. There will be police verification before they are given training. They will be trained to deal with care and also in immediate first aid in the face of health issues. There is already an age-friendly bus running in Paravur and the staff deals with elderly people politely and respectfully," said Boniface Jasper, secretary, Magics, NGO.
In the primary stage at least two drivers will be selected from each ward, thus taking the total number to 150. The city is divided into 16 different sections and a directory with the phone numbers of the drivers will be made and issued through Vayomitram. After launching the programme on World Elder Abuse day, the training will begin on June 18.
A pilot model was launched a couple of years back in Paravur and the vehicles then made age friendly still runs in the region.
“We are leaving no stones unturned in ensuring that senior citizens have an easier and more comfortable life. We expect more drivers to come on board with the idea. As of now, an app for the project is not practical. However, once the network widens and we have more trained drivers we will explore all the possibilities,” said Dr Praveen G Pai, Convenor, IMA committee for elderly, Kerala.