Have you spotted a pink rickshaw while strolling around in the city lately? Ever wondered how it got its color? Did Mumbai run out of black and yellow color? Not quite so.
How Pink Rickshaw began with her journey..
Unlike the black rickshaws in the city driven by men, pink rickshaws are driven exclusively by women and for women. Maharashtra’s transport minister Diwakar Raote in 2016, revealed to the press that 465 licenses have been granted to the women to drive pink rickshaws. The initiative primarily caters to women commuters struggling to find an auto. Not only does it make travelling for women commuters safer but also provides livelihood and independence to an army of women.
The transport department made it easier for women drivers to get their badges on time. The Pink Rickshaws operate on the routes taken by share rickshaws where passengers pay a fixed fare. However they do pick up individual women passengers at odd hours to make it safer for them.
The Pink Logic.
The transport minister explains in an interview, “The colour will enable commuters to make out that the rickshaw is being driven by a woman and can hail one down if she feels safe to travel in it. But at the same time we are not making any different rules for these women drivers. They will be treated at par with the men drivers.”
What’s the catch to drive a Pink Rickshaw?
Firstly, the Pink Rickshaw drivers have to be domiciled in the city for a minimum of 15 years and secondly they need to know Marathi.
For women enrolled as drivers this opportunity has given direction to their identities. One such driver, Shobha Halmukh says in an interview,
“I stay with my parents and always wanted to be self-employed. Being an auto driver will help me travel places and provide a sense of security to women.”
Pink is the new Black.
Incidentally, Mumbai is not the first city to start Pink Rickshaw service. Pink Rickshaws trace its beginning back in Ranchi following the 2012 Delhi Gangrape. Other cities like Gurgaon, Indore, Noida, Surat have also seen Pink Rickshaws.
She Taxi in Kerala.
The God’s Own Country has not lagged behind in providing safer commute for the women. In 2013, Kerala launched ‘She Taxi’, India’s first 24×7 women’s taxi network. ‘She Taxi’ aims at providing safe cab commute to the female passengers.
Following the success of ‘She Taxi’ the state has plans to launch another initiative called ‘She Bus’. Its functioning will be solely handled by women and for women.
Picture Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle, Women Planet, India.com