TechnoparkToday.com > ‘She Taxi’, a taxi service for women travellers operated by women entrepreneurs was launched in Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram today as the first initiative of the Gender Park – and institution newly established under the state’s Department of Social Justice to work towards gender equity.
Noted actress Smt Manju Warrier, who has been officially designated as the Goodwill Ambassador of ‘She Taxi’ flagged off the service at a ceremony at Kanakakkunnu Palace in Thiruvananthapuram in the presence of Hon’ble Minister for Panchayats and Social Justice Dr M K Muneer and other dignitaries.
“What makes She Taxi such a wonderful project that it is a means of livelihood for one set of women and a safe and secure mode of transport for another,” she said.
She also urged more female entrepreneurs to come forward to operate the taxis, saying it is a much-needed service for the ever growing number of women employees in sectors such as IT, media, travel and hospitality who have to work and travel at odd hours.
Dr Muneer said ‘She Taxi’ is the first of many projects for women’s safety and empowerment that the Gender Park plans to implement in the future. He said the first of the Gender Parks will be set up in Kozhikode with work on the new building, set in a sprawling 24-acre campus, set to begin next year.
Dignitaries at the inaugural function, which was hosted by TV anchor Smt Rekha Menon, included Shri K Muraleedharan MLA, Shri Rishi Raj Singh IPS, Hon’ble Mayor Adv K Chandrika, Smt Sabriye Tenberken, Founder, Kanthari International, Dr Sindhuja Varma, Vice President, eWIT, Technopark and Shri Amit Passi, Head of BPO and Director on the Board, Allianz, Technopark.
Shri Muraleedharan inaugurated the call centre (accessible on 85900 00543) set up for She Taxi operations, and Transport Commissioner Shri Rishi Raj Singh IPS launched the official She Taxi website and logo.
The first women drivers of the fleet of cabs – Smt Annie Surendran, Smt Jaicy Ramesh, Smt Rasiya Begum Noushad, Smt Heera P, and Smt Asha Kumari – received the keys from Smt Manju Warrier.
Associates of the She Taxi project are Maruti Suzuki Ltd, which is supplying the taxis and providing training to the women drivers; the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation (KSWDC) which will provide financing support for the entrepreneurs and Technopark-based Rain Concert Technologies.
At the ceremony, Shri PT M Sunish, Special Officer, The Gender Park, exchanged MoU with Shri Ram Suresh Akella, Commercial Business Head, South, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd; and Shri Khadar M M, Project Officer, Gender Park, exchanged MoU with KSWDC Chairperson Smt Kulsu.
Shri V N Jithendran IAS, Director, Social Justice exchanged MoU with Shri Abhilash Pillai, CEO & MD of Rain Concert Technologies which is setting up the 24-hour call centre for the service and handling the marketing operations.
The Gender Park has developed a business model for the ‘She Taxi’ which projects a steady monthly income for the women entrepreneurs besides additional revenues through ads on the sides of the cars, in-car LCD systems for streaming ads and others.
Muthoot FinCorp has already expressed willingness to advertise on the sides of the first five She Taxis as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative.
Team Bimblotica, a student band from the Government College for Women, Vazhuthacaud, performed at the ceremony.
Following the flag-off the first five She Taxis carried some of the invited guests, including Dr Muneer and his family, Smt Manju Warrier and Ms Sabriye Tenberken as their first passengers.
‘She Taxi’ is a 24X7 service available for booking via mobile phones and online. Women travelling alone or with families can dial the customer care centre which will provide them with a Unique Identification Code and the vehicle number on their mobile phones.
All cabs are metered and have an electronic payment system allowing the user to pay using credit or debit cards or cash.
The She Taxis come with multiple security systems for the safety of the drivers as well as the passengers. A control room tracks the taxis in real-time using GPS; there are personal emergency alert switches for drivers and passengers inside the car; and a similar safety alert app is installed on the mobile phones of the women drivers.
The cabs have a map of all emergency response systems in the city and public safety officers will be available for their assistance. The drivers will also be given training in self-defence as well as good driving practices.
To Book a ride in She Taxi – Call 8590000543, 90 20 111 543.