Bijapur may soon see women auto rickshaw drivers

Some 14 women who have obtained DL about eight months ago itself

BIJAPUR; 25 Mar: If everything falls into place, then Bijapur city will soon have its first batch of women auto rickshaw drivers and will be seen carrying passengers along with their male counterparts.

Deputy Commissioner, P. Sunil Kumar has decided to accord a special permission to at least a few women, after receiving a memorandum from Zilla Panchayat President, Sujata Kallimani who has urged the district administration to permit women also.

As of now, the Regional Transport Authority has stopped giving permission to any new auto rickshaw as the city already has too many autos.

“ Certainly, we have too many autos for the city, therefore, no new permission is given, however considering this as a special case, I will try to get permission for at least a few women in the first phase to start driving an auto rickshaw in the city “, he said.

With regard to giving permission to paint pink colour to the auto, as urged by Kallimani, he said that only the government has to take a decision on introducing commercial autos having pink colour.

However he believes that more than the colour, what is more important is for women to start driving auto to break the traditional shackles.

Meanwhile, Kallimani believes that while many metro cities already have women auto drivers, Bijapur city too should have women auto drivers for their self employment.

“ When women are doing several jobs which are considered only male oriented, why should interested women not be allowed to drive an auto rickshaw for earning”, she said.

She claimed that about eight months ago itself, some 14 women have been given training and issued Driving License by an NGO in Bijapur city.

Thanking Kallimani for raising their demand, Kousar Kudagi, one of the 14 women who got DL about eight months ago, also expressed unhappiness for the district administration not giving permission.

“ My husband is working in a tile factory. When I expressed my desire to become an auto driver after being suggested by the NGO, my husband agreed and allowed me”, she said.

Kousar says that the district administration should encourage women to drive auto by making special provisions.

Suvarna Kudalagi, another woman who has got DL, said that her husband also permitted her to drive an auto. Raju Kudalagi, her husband said that though he is financially well off and does not need her wife to work for money, he wants her to drive auto only to inspire other women.

“ By grace of Almighty, I have a good source of earnings from my three nurseries, but I want my wife to drive auto encourage other women to join this occupation”, he said.

Meanwhile Kallimani thinks that if women auto drivers start driving commercial auto, it will also give a sense of security to female passengers.

“ I hope the District Administration will take quick action on my request and allow women to drive autos in the city”, she said.

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