The appointment of women drivers as bus drivers has come in the backdrop of Delhi Government’s consistent effort to induct women as bus drivers under its city transportation fleet. Various women have also come out and spoken about willingness to become bus drivers in the state public transport services.
Transport Minister Shri Kailash Gahlot at the occasion further stated, “I want to thank all women today being handed over the letters of appointment today, for their courage to take up bus driving as career choice and becoming a role model for society. I am very hopeful that they will inspire more women to become bus drivers with Delhi’s Transportation fleet. I am very hopeful that with more women driving Delhi Government’s buses, the public transportation in the city will become safer and passenger friendly. I wish them the very best for the future.”
In February, Delhi Government had relaxed the norms and eligibility criteria to recruit women as drivers within its bus operations. It reduced minimum height criteria from 159cm to 153cm and ‘experience criteria’ for induction as bus drivers to one month for women applicants. The step increased opportunities for women employment within the combined fleet strength of approximately 7370 buses in the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and the Delhi Integrated Multi-modal Transit System (DIMTS). The move also opened the doors for women to be employed within the 15000 strong workforce of bus drivers within the state public transportation.
Delhi Government has implemented multiple initiatives to increase participation of women in the transportation workforce. In April this year Transport Minister Shri Kailash Gahlot had also kicked off ‘Mission Parivartan’, an initiative to train women to obtain their Heavy Motor Vehicle (HMV) licences at Society for Driving Training Institute (SDTI), Burari. The initiative is being implemented as a joint venture between Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Ashok Leyland Limited to facilitate end to end training to 180 women candidates for obtaining driving licence of HMV category. Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Limited (DIMTS) under its CSR support has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Society for Driving Training Institute (SDTI) to implement this program. The women, after complete training, will be equipped to drive Delhi Government’s buses under its public transportation fleet. 81 women in two batches have already completed this training and 38 have earned their HMV licences. 10 of these women are currently undergoing training at Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) Training Centre, Nandnagari for induction as bus drivers and 31 more have applied to undertake training at DTC training centre. Earlier in 2021 also, Delhi Government had reserved 33% of 4261 new e-auto registrations specially for women drivers.
Delhi Government in July also launched a scheme to provide financial support to women willing to take driver training to become professional taxi drivers in future. As per decision made by the Government, 50% of the training i.e., approximately INR 4800 for each woman would be borne by the Transport Department. The training of women will be conducted at in-house driving training centres set up by the government at Burari, Loni and Sarai Kale Khan. As per the initiative, the government has invited fleet owners and aggregators to sponsor the remaining 50% of the training cost for women seeking driving employment in these companies.