In a bid to make women feel safe in the national capital, a private all-women cab service has recently been launched from the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The service, titled ‘Women with Wheels’, can be availed for any part of Delhi. It operates from a kiosk near Pillar Number 16 at the airport.
“The cabs are run exclusively for women commuters and are driven by women drivers who are hired from an NGO named Azad Foundation,” said Arvind Vadera, the CEO of Sakha Consulting Wings, the company that that is running the service. Men are allowed in the cab only if they are accompanied by a woman or women.
Azad Foundation trains women from economically-weaker background to become professional drivers among other things. “Now that I am standing on my feet. I feel I can do anything. I’m living my life freely now,” said one of the women drivers.
As of now, the company has a fleet of 20 cars with 10 drivers, said Vadera, adding they are in the process of expanding their fleet.
The CEO of the company added that the idea came from seeing women who feel uncomfortable while travelling in city cabs. “Normally, women who land at the airport in the late hours feel uncomfortable while hiring taxis. We decided to provide them with cabs driven by women to make them feel safe,” added Vadera.
About the safety measures taken for both the drivers and commuters, Vadera said, “The cabs have GPS and a panic button installed. So, if either the driver or commuter feels the need, they can call for help. We have a tie-up with a company called 24Response that will send help within 30 minutes”.
Sakha Consulting Wings provides the all-women cab service in Indore, Jaipur and Kolkata also.
“The rates of our cabs are equivalent to the rates of other city cabs,” says Vadera.