Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 17: ‘She Taxi’, a Kerala Government-backed 24X7 taxi service operated by women for women travellers, will be flagged off in the state capital by Hon’ble Minister for Panchayats and Social Justice Shri M K Muneer and actress Smt Manju Warrier on Tuesday, November 19.
The service, initiated by The Gender Park which functions under the Department of Social Justice, Government of Kerala, will be launched from Kanakakkunnu Palace at 4.30 pm on Tuesday. Dr Muneer will officially declare Smt Manju Warrier as the Goodwill Ambassador of ‘She Taxi’.
She Taxi has been designed as a safe and reliable mode of transport for women. And apart from ensuring safe journeys, it will also encourage entrepreneurship and self-employment among women.
“Driving has been a male-dominated area in our country, in the service sector and otherwise,” said Shri K M Abraham CFA, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Social Justice. “She Taxi will certainly bring in more women into this sector; and we believe that will eventually bring about a sea change in our traffic culture as a whole.”
“Women are acknowledged to be inherently safe and responsible drivers. As more women take to the roads, handling public transport services, we can expect to see fewer traffic problems and rule violations,” he added.
Shri K Muraleedharan MLA will inaugurate the call centre and Shri Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Assembly will hand over the keys to the beneficiaries.
Transport Commissioner Shri Rishi Raj Singh IPS will launch the official She Taxi website and logo.
Dignitaries at the function will include Hon’ble Mayor Adv K Chandrika; Smt Sugathakumari Teacher; 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.
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, will exchange MoU with Shri Ram Suresh Akella, Commercial Business Head, South, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd; and another senior Gender Park official will exchange MoU with KSWDC Chairperson Smt Kulsu.
Shri V N Jithendran IAS, Director, Social Justice will exchange an 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.
Well-known TV personality Smt Rekha Menon will anchor the programme on Tuesday and Team Bimblotica, a student band from the Government College for Women, Vazhuthacaud, will perform at the ceremony.
Following the flag-off the She Taxis will hit the road with some of the invited guests, including Dr Muneer, Smt Manju Warrier and Smt Sugathakumari Teacher as their first passengers.