If all goes as expected, the city will see more number of women driving autorickshaws in the city. To aid women and ensure their safety, the district administration is planning to allot 30 autorickshaws to women in Kochi.
District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth said that considering the precarious situation which is prevailing across the country, we hope that such a venture would ensure the safety of women passengers and boost their confidence who need to travel across the city especially after evenings.
The Collector said that to implement the scheme, the district administration will also seek the support of the Police Department and the Corporation. “The support of both these departments is a must as it will have to efficiently monitor the project once implemented,” he said. Apart from it, talks are on with several banks in this regard to provide financial assistance.
“Many banks have expressed their willingness to provide monetary aid to the project,” he said.The Kerala Women’s Development Corporation (KWDC) will also be roped in for the implementation of the project. “The proposal put forth by the District Collector has been forwarded to KWDC, Thiruvananthapuram. More measures in this regard can be taken once the Department gives its approval to the proposal,” said M R Rangan, Regional Manager, KWDC, Ernakulam
Though the project seems apt at this point of time especially when atrocities against women are on the rise, Rangan said the project could be well implemented if the authorities concerned take the initiative to strictly monitor the project.
“Such an initiative was carried out by the Kochi Corporation with the aid of KWDC in 2005-2006. It had given away about 50 autorickshaws to women. But unfortunately, it did not serve the purpose as most of the autos distributed to the women in course of time were used by their husbands which is why an efficient monitoring is a must,” he said.
Subi Cleetus, a new woman auto driver in the city, said that such an initiative by the authorities to help women is a welcome move. “When more autorickshaws driven by women ply on the roads, it would boost up the morale of the women passengers in the city who are otherwise too scared to travel after evenings,” he said.