India as a country is definitely moving ahead with women empowerment and Jaipur, like all other cities is catching up on empowering and strengthening its women in various aspects. It is always good to hear about development in this respect. That is why, when we first heard about the concept of ‘The Pink City Rickshaw Company’, which runs e-rickshaws in the city driven by women, we were really excited and happy. 🙂
Among the female inhabitants of Jaipur, it is very essential to bring the women from lower income group or marginalized groups to the forefront and help them stand on their feet. Many a time women from this section of the society are left behind in the whole plan of development, due to inaccessibility to education or skill development. ACCESS Development Services’ ( A section 25 not-for profit company) saw this gap and started working towards bridging the same through its new initiative titled, ‘The Pink City Rickshaw Company’.
The project is aimed towards developing the women of lower income group into trained E-Rickshaw drivers. The company is hiring and training the women in Rickshaw driving skills. The E-Rickshaw being provided to the women is not the regular E-Rickshaw that you get to see but a new aged, stylized and designed like a buggy: E-Rickshaw. Women are not only trained in driving but are also trained in social skill development. The compact and comfortable e-rickshaws have been modified to add a collapsible canopy and ergonomically designed seats, mechanical improvement for greater safety and also offer a locker for safekeeping of belongings of the clients, a mobile charger, water bottle/ newspaper holder, city maps and so on. The rickshaws are eco-friendly and contribute towards a healthy environment.
The travel services provided by the company will have pre marked tours and the customers can choose their favorite from the designed tour packages. The tour packages involve journeys to heritage sites of the city, shopping destinations in Jaipur and places of cultural importance.
So far the company has reached out to 40 women. The first batch of 20 women is completely trained and has also started to provide services to guests of some well known hotels in the city. On being asked, the women drivers replied that they are enjoying becoming a part of such a huge project.
“With increasing traffic and people wanting to travel short distances in rickshaws, it is a great opportunity to earn a livelihood”, quoted Lalita Ji, who hails from Ramgarh Mod and is a part of the second batch. Shahzad, a resident from Shivaji Nagar, is a part of the first batch and has completed her training. She has started working for the company and has taken many tourists for a ride in her E-rickshaw. She gets very happy to take foreign tourists on tours and says that she can interact with them too, as the company has trained her on the social skills as well. 🙂
The E-rickshaws have an IVRS app installed with the pre marked routes, which will prove to be helpful for both tourists and add a secured system for operations for women drivers. This is a first of its kind endeavor in the pink city and we are proud of it. All the best to the team of The Pink City Rickshaw Company! 🙂