Former President Pratibha Patil inaugurated Maharashtra Government’s initiative to train tribal women so that they can drive State Road Transport buses. This is first of its kind initiative in the country, where tribal women will be trained to drive buses.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • This is for the first time in the country that tribal women are being appointed by the state transport as bus drivers.
  • The women selected for the purpose belong to the tribal parts of the state which includes Gadchiroli, Vardha, Bhandara-Gondiya districts.
  • As many as 163 women have been selected for the purpose.
  • The State Transport Minister has suggested that these women should not be sent to areas far from their home, keeping their security in view. 

“Administration should not send these women away from their homes. If they are to halt somewhere at night, they should be provided with a safe place to stay. These things should be taken care” Former President Pratibha Patil

163 Tribal Women Selected

As many as 163 tribal women have been selected for the purpose of driving heavy vehicles. They’ll first undergo training and once ready, will be inducted as drivers in the state-run bus service.

Vijaya Rajeshwari, one of the women drivers selected for the purpose says, “I had never thought that I would be driving. I am so happy. This is a very good opportunity for women. They were making strides in every field. Now they will also prove their ability in this field as well.”

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Safety Of Women Drivers

State Transport Minister Divakar Ravte said in the event that women drivers’ security is their biggest concern. “This is the first such initiative in the country. We have made arrangements to ensure the safety and security of the women,” he said.

Former President Pratibha Patil also suggested that the state road transport corporation should not send them to an area too far from their home, keeping in view their safety. In case they have to stay outside, Patil said that the government should ensure their safety and provide them safe places to stay at such instances. “Administration should not send these women away from their homes. If they are to halt somewhere at night, they should be provided with a safe place to stay. These things should be taken care,” she said.

She further said, “Providing education to women and taking them forward towards development is something that will take us forward as a nation” adding that the tribal community is an important part of “our culture.”

“Providing education to women and taking them forward towards development is something that will take us forward as a nation”

Vijaya Rajeshwari, one of the women drivers selected for the purpose says, “I had never thought that I would be driving. I am so happy. This is a very good opportunity for women. They were making strides in every field. Now they will also prove their ability in this field as well.”

Earlier instances of women drivers being appointed by state transport

Delhi Road Transport hired its first female driver back in 2015, which encouraged the government to roll out more jobs for women drivers. This also encouraged other women to take up driving jobs in State Transport. Soon after Delhi appointed its first woman driver, it decided to induct more women in the service.

Not only Delhi which initiated to empower women as drivers, but also Karnataka reserved 50 percent of the driver jobs for women back in 2016. The women looking forward to working as drivers were trained and also given stipend before their recruitment.

Picture Credit: ANI

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