An all-woman taxi service, ‘She Taxi’, introduced by Gender Park, was prelaunched in the city on Sunday. Gender Park is the Kerala Government-backed initiative for gender equality in development.
According to officials, they expect to start operating ‘she taxis’ within a month.
Makeup artist and hair stylist Ambika Pillai and Malayalam film producer Sandra Thomas jointly unveiled the project. They said the initiative would help in extending enhanced security to the women, besides providing them adequate safety.
“ With the prelaunch at Oberon Mall, registrations for women taxi drivers have begun. We hope that at least 25 women will come up expressing interest in the project. As per plan, 25 ‘she taxis’ will be launched in the city in the first phase,” said Ijaz Khan, Project Manager of Gender Park. He said the project, which had already been launched in Thiruvananthapuram, with 15 such taxis is a huge hit. “Last month, one women driver alone was able to earn up to `Rs 40,000. It is a huge opportunity for women who are interested in taking to the roads,” he said.
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd is partnering with Gender Park to supply the pink and whitecoloured taxis. The cars are specially designed and is also quite attractive looking with catchy pictures and luxury features. Cab number 8590000543, which is common for both Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, is connected to Rain Concert Technologies, functioning at Technopark. Taxi services will be coordinated and monitored from this centre. Special training will be imparting to the taxi drivers.
Abhilash R, CEO, Rain Concert Technologies, said the She Taxi project was aimed at imparting safety, employment, entrepreneurship and empowerment to women.
According to him, there has been a huge response from women passengers in the state capital with onethird of the phone calls being made during night and early morning hours.
“Out of 300 phone calls, 100 calls were made by women between 11 pm and 5 am. Most of them were pregnant women, employees and even those who wished to send their children for tuition during early morning hours,” he said.
Meanwhile, ‘She Park’, aimed at providing better security and care to women, has been started by Oberon Mall’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative named ‘We Care for Women’. ‘She Park’ offers reserved parking facility for cars driven by women in the basement of the mall.
Oberon Mall has joined hands with the Department of Social Justice for the She Park venture.
Ten parking slots in the basement area of the mall will be reserved for cars driven by women. Siddharth Sahgal, chief managing officer of Beyond Squarefeet; Joji John, centre manager, Oberon Mall; and Yash Pendayla, mall manager, RP Mall, were also present at the prelaunch function.