A week after a woman was allegedly raped by Shiv Kumar Yadav, a driver with the Uber cabs, the Transport department on Friday decided to make gender sensitisation class mandatory for taxi drivers to obtain a vehicle fitness certificate.
“A vehicle fitness certificate will be issued to a driver only after he obtains a certificate after undergoing the gender sensitisation programme. The Transport department will organise this with the help of an NGO. The certificate will be made mandatory for every driver. We have asked Manas Foundation (NGO) to prepare a programme module and, once it is approved, we will start in about a week,” a senior Transport official said.
The programme, department sources said, will entail training of drivers in dealing with women passengers. “They will be taught how to behave with women passengers, including the basic dos and don’ts. They will also be made aware of the consequences of a wrong action on their part. They will be told about the provisions in law and perhaps giving the example of this case (Uber ‘rape’),” the official said.
The gender sensitisation training will be conducted at the Institute of Driving and Traffic Research. Although the length of the course is yet to be decided, the department is thinking of conducting two-hour sessions every day.
The department said it will have women staff and student volunteers conduct surprise checks on drivers. Any complaint received by the department will be seriously looked into, senior officials said.
In the week following the ‘rape’ that brought radio taxi services under the scanner, senior Transport officials had a series of meetings with their counterparts in other departments, NGOs and radio taxi associations to tighten norms.
The department will also make it mandatory for the driver’s details — name, licence number, vehicle registration number, public service vehicle badge — to be displayed in all commercial vehicles.
Sources said they had also discussed with police the matter of issuing character certificates to taxi drivers. “Police have agreed to make the issuance of character certificates more stringent. Henceforth, certificates will mention the driver’s present and permanent address,” a senior official said.