THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was the lukewarm response to its fleet of small Nano cars among the commuters here that prompted Kudumbashree Travels - the 24x7 taxi service exclusively for women launched by the State Kudumbashree Mission - to go in for bigger-capacity Tata Indica cars when it recently started operations in Kochi.
‘’The poor load capacity of the Nano cars here had deterred many commuters. That’s why we decided to go in for Indica cars from the same manufacturer when we launched our service in Kochi,’’ Kudumbashree Travels Chief Executive Officer and Kudumbashree Mission Executive Director K B Valsala Kumari said.
However, Kudumashree Travels will not be able to completely ignore Nano cars for the time being in Thiruvananthapuram. ‘’Since the bank loan ceiling is fixed at Rs 2 lakh per car, the two new cars which Kudumbashree Mission plans to introduce in the city will also be Nano,’’ Valasala Kumari said. After Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, Kudumbashree Mission’s taxi service is now planning an entry into the hilly terrain of Idukki.
‘’Kudumbashree Travels assures women safe travel and more importantly as a means of livelihood. The taxi service has been of immense help to women working at odd hours and also the elderly women and young girl students,’’ said Geetha Philip, District Mission Co-ordination of Kudumbashree Travels. ‘’This initiative has helped in changing the image of women as being dependent,. It gives the women a feeling of accomplishment when their own enterprise grows,’’ Geetha said.
‘She Taxi’ on Expansion Mode
Meanwhile, ‘She Taxi’ service, the predecessor of ‘Kudumbashree Travels’, is also in an expansion mode. New Maruti Ertiga cars will join She Taxi’s regular fleet of Swift Dzires when it begins operations in Kochi on Monday.
The ‘She Taxi’ service was launched by Gender Park - a Social Justice Department initiative - on November 19 last year, just a week ahead of ‘Kudumbashree Travels’ first run. ‘She Taxi’ now has 16 cars in its fleet.
‘’Eight more cabs will be introduced to meet the rising demand and to raise the drivers’ income,’’ said P T M Sunish, CEO of Gender Park. ‘’Due to increase in demand and awareness, the service is likely to expand to other districts such as Kollam, Kottayam, Kozhikode and Thrissur,’’ Sunish told ‘Express’.