On the occasion of Rakshabandhan, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced free rides for women commuters in DTC and cluster buses from October 29. He made the announcement while delivering his last Independence Day speech of his term at Chhatrasal Stadium. He also said that his government is working on making the Metro rides free as well. While people have mixed opinion on his decision, the opposition sees it as another political gimmick as the assembly elections are around the corner.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Kejriwal announced free rides for women in DTC and cluster buses from  October 29
  • Since working women consist of only 11 percent of Delhi population, it will encourage them to take up public transport and make them travel long distance safely
  • Only 30 percent of women and 70 percent of men travel in public transport buses and metro trains in Delhi

Free Ride By Kejriwal

In his last speech as Delhi CM, he said “On the day of Rakshabandhan, I want to give a gift to our sisters that there will be free rides for women on all DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) and cluster buses from October 29, the occasion of Bhai Dooj, which will ensure their safety.” Further adding to this he said, “With this move, our sisters will be able to fulfil their dreams because they have to travel long distances for their studies and work.” reported by Livemint.

Earlier, in June he announced free DTC and metro rides for women, which was scrapped by the governor. Kejriwal accused the previous government of corruption, saying that it is the tax payer’s money which the previous government stole, but his government saved it and is using it for public welfare.

Read Also: Delhi Govt. To Allow Free DTC Bus Ride For Women

Working Women Of NCR

Working women constitute only 11 percent of the total population of Delhi, that is 1.9 crore. Today there are 5,500 buses, including of 3,800 of the Delhi Transport Corporation. Also, there are over 1,600 cluster (orange) buses operated by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System. Asserting upon gender equality he said, “In Delhi’s working population, women account for only 11 percent. While around 90 percent are men. Currently, only 30 percent of women and 70 percent of men travel in public transport buses and metro trains. Our free ride scheme will significantly help women realise their dreams.”

Talking about the opposition he said, “Their first point was that everything is being made free. I want to say to them that I am not splurging or stealing money.” He said he was questioned by many on the grounds of gender equality. He also believes that it will help to strengthen the economy which is going through slowdown. This proposal of free rides for women commuters will soon be tabled before the Cabinet for approval.

Image credit: The Tribune

Read Also: Five good reasons why free Delhi metro rides will benefit women across society

Divya Tripathi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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