New Delhi: In the aftermath of the Dec 5 rape in a cab by its driver, the Delhi Police have selected 115 women from poor families to be trained to work as drivers with various cab services.
This initiative has been taken by officials of the north police district, one of the 11 in the national capital, under whose jurisdiction the recent rape of a woman executive by the driver of US-based Uber cab service took place. The news sent shock waves across the nation with the Dec 16, 2012 gang rape still fresh in public mind.
The accused Shiv Kumar Yadav, who was found to be a serial offender, was arrested and is currently lodged in Tihar jail.
"We have picked 115 women from various slums who are ready to become cab drivers in Delhi. These women will undergo three months of training and the first batch will begin soon," Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Brijender Kumar Yadav told IANS.
"We have kept online booking services in the loop so that it would be easier for us to induct these trained women drivers at these cab companies. We will train them and in a way it would be a good platform for them to serve their family as well," he said.
After training, these women, aged between 18 and 25 years, will be issued driving licences and licences for commercial vehicles from the transport authority.
Once the training and certification is complete, the companies will interview them and would hire them accordingly.
Yadav also told IANS that the companies had told police that the working women feel more "secure" while travelling in a vehicle driven by a woman.
Only six cab services - Easy Cab, Mega Cab, Meru Cab, Chanson Cab, Yo Cab and Air Cab - have so far licences to operate radio taxis in the city. Delhi government had banned Uber, an online cab booking service soon after its driver was found to be involved in the rape.
"We have also contacted several driving schools who will provide them training," Yadav said.
"To ensure that these women drivers are capable to defend themselves while on road, they will be given self-defence classes that will also be held during these three months," he said.
Apart from this, the training will also teach them how to use pepper spray efficiently and lock themselves in the car, if they face any attack.