To provide employment opportunities to women in the public transportation sector, the Delhi government on Monday announced that it will bear 50 per cent of the cost to train them as commercial drivers, an official statement said.
As part of the scheme, the government will invite fleet owners and cab aggregators to sponsor the remaining 50 per cent of the training cost for the women drivers seeking employment in these companies, it said.
According to the statement, the government will provide financial support to women willing to take driver training to become professional taxi drivers in future and 50 per cent of the cost -- around Rs 4,800 -- to train each woman would be borne by the transport department.
The training will be conducted at the government centres at Burari, Loni and Sarai Kale Khan, the statement said.
"The government will work with fleet owners and aggregators to set up an optimal mechanism so that women trained through the initiative receive guaranteed jobs in these companies after completion of the training,"
The transport department will soon issue an advertisement seeking Expression of Interest (EoI) from fleet owners and aggregators for the scheme and gauge the number of women who can be trained under the initiative.
"Various women through different forums have come out and spoken about their interest and zeal to work as taxi drivers to earn their livelihood," it added.
Delhi government adopted the Electric Vehicle Policy in 2020 and is currently in the process of adopting the Delhi Motor Vehicle Aggregator Scheme which will mandate phase-wise adoption and increase in the share of electric vehicles within the fleet of cab aggregators.
"The increase in share of electric vehicles in taxi fleets will enhance opportunities for women to be employed as drivers as due to fewer mechanical parts and automatic steering wheel, electric vehicles are much easier to drive and less strenuous in operation," it said.
It had also reduced the minimum height requirement from 159 cm to 153 cm and "experience criteria" for induction as bus drivers for women applicants.
In April, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot had kicked off "Mission Parivartan", an initiative to train women to obtain their Heavy Motor Vehicle (HMV) licenses at Society for Driving Training Institute (SDTI) in Burari.
"In the last couple of months, we have implemented multiple initiatives to increase participation of women in the transportation workforce. The objective is that women come forward and become an important anchor of Delhi's public transportation," Ghalot said.
"We have now inducted women as bus drivers within DTC. With the implementation of this initiative, the day is not far when a large number of women would be visible as drivers for various public modes of transportation on Delhi's roads," Gahlot said.
In a series of tweets, the minister said that the increasing presence of women behind the steering wheel will ensure that they feel safe in public transport.
"Autos, buses & now cabs- the more women steering the world the safer they feel in public transport. The @ArvindKejriwal govt calls on taxi fleet owners & aggregators to share women driver's training cost with us at our Driver Training Institutes & provide further employment," he said in a tweet.
"A lot of interested women have approached us for support in gaining employment as taxi drivers. Delhi govt will bear 50% of training cost at our DTIs at Loni, Burari & Sarai Kale Khan ie. Rs.4800 for each woman driver. We want more women drivers driving our EV revolution," he said in another tweet.
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