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Southern India rolls out first ‘She-Taxi’ to promote safe travel and entrepreneurship for women


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Kochi, Kerala: Reuters India’s southern Kochi got its first women-only taxi cab service, ‘She-Taxi,’ that opened doors for women entrepreneurship and ensured safe and secure travel for women travellers across the city. ‘She-Taxi’, a first-of-its-kind 24x7 taxi service owned and operated by women entrepreneurs for women travellers, launched its operations on Monday (20 May). Chief Minister of India’s southern Kerala, Oommen Chandy along with actor Manju Warrier, the goodwill ambassador of ‘She-Taxi’, flagged off the first service. The people who launched this project were confident of its success and said this initiative will help women to travel around the city with access to police and medical emergencies, the fruit of a joint venture between the local government department and public-private partnership. “She-Taxi is a security enabled, safe transport cab and this provides safety, security and safe journey to women and at the same time it also promotes a beautiful women entrepreneurship model for the owners of the vehicle,” said Managing Director, Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation, P.T.M Suneesh. The organisers also appreciated the women who have mustered courage to come forward to operate these taxis, given the challenges they are expected to face in a male-dominated business. All cabs have an electronic payment system allowing customers to pay using credit or debit cards or cash. She-Taxi has also collaborated with mobile services and added other value- added services that facilitate internet browsing and online shopping, besides a number of other in-car entertainment facilities. The cab is fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS), precision metering systems and in-car LCD systems. It also has a number of safety features such as emergency alert switches for drivers and passengers and a safety alert mobile application for women drivers. “We are really happy and the cabs are good. We really appreciate this initiative and we are very satisfied to be a part of this. We are being paid nearly Rs. 20,000 per month,” said a She- Taxi driver, Suma. The project, conceived and implemented by the Gender Park under the aegis of the Department of Social Justice, is being extended to Kochi after its success in other cities of the state where it was launched in November 2013. The organisers also plan to roll out 250 She-Taxi cabs in all major cities across the state.

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