A cosmopolitan city like Bangalore has only one woman driver amongst the 34,000 staff in the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation. However, things are about to change as the BMTC are planning to train a thousand women in driving buses and light motor vehicles. These women, once trained, can also apply for driver’s jobs in the state-run operations.

This fund will also be used to build a separate lounge for women at bus stands, and to install CCTV cameras inside city buses to ensure the safety of women.

The funding used for this training program comes from the Nirbhaya Fund. BMTC is expecting about Rs 35-40 crores from the central government under this fund. It will also be used to build a separate lounge for women at bus stands, and to install CCTV cameras inside city buses to ensure the safety of women. A commendable effort on the part of BMTC to ensure the safety of women and also to make women a much bigger part of their corporation.

Aswira S, a 25-year-old who often uses these state buses told us, “This is a great effort. I really hope that this is done soon – buses can be unsafe sometimes, I’ve felt that too, but I think that the CCTVs will help reduce crime or at least put some fear into the minds of criminals. I also hope to see women bus drivers because then I will automatically feel safer.”

A senior official from BMTC told Bangalore Mirror,

“The fund will be utilised for the welfare of women and to take up safety measures. At present, we have only one woman driver. With this project, women can also apply for jobs to drive taxis and buses. Aspirants will be given training in driving tracks of the Corporation.”

Prema Ramappa Nadabatti, the only woman driver in the BMTC was assaulted last year by another BMTC employee. The safety of women in Bangalore has become a big concern and has caused a lot of debate. In an effort to combat that, BMTC plans to install CCTV cameras inside 500 city buses. Last year, the same plan was shelved as BMTC did not receive the funding, but since this year they have been assured of the funds, they are going to utilise it for the betterment and safety of women in the city.

Pic credits: The Week

Also read: How Much Do Women Love Bangalore?
Read more stories by Nikhita Sanotra