THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is not only She Taxi in trouble. Kudumbasree Travels, another flagship project of the state government aimed at women's safety and empowerment is also in doldrums.
The Tata Nano taxi cars rolled out in the city in November 2013 by the Kudumbasree Mission suffered a setback as the call centre managing the fleet stopped functioning several months back.
Now the drivers are managing to get trips through their personal contacts. The Mission is trying to salvage the project by setting up a call centre in association with a Technopark firm.
“Plans to integrate She Taxi services of the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation and the Kudumbasree Travels are also under consideration," Kudumbasree Mission executive director A. Shajahan said.
DC had on Thursday reported the plight of a section of She Taxi drivers after the project became unviable for them. Valsala, one of the eight Kudumbasree Travels drivers who was part of it since its launch in Thiruvananthapuram, lamented the lack of government support.
“This is a women’s empowerment and safety project and hence, the government should provide enough support to maintain the call centre,” she said.
She said apart from Nano, other mid-segment vehicles should be added to the fleet. “Passengers do not prefer long trips on Nano,” she pointed out.
Kudumbasree Mission former executive director K. B. Valsalakumari said that as per the project, the call centre had to be managed by drivers on a rotation. But the women involved always preferred to be behind the wheels. Employing someone to manage the call centre was not viable.
The women-driven taxis had been of much use, especially for women who had to travel alone in odd hours. “On many occasions, I depended on Kudumbasree taxi for railway station pick-up during odd hours. Safety was the key concern,” said Jaya K., a senior citizen.