Priyadarshini Taxi Service

Priyadarshini Taxi Service, Women empowered taxi service | WEBO Power

The motto of Priyadarshini Taxi Service is ‘Driving’ (literally!) Women Empowerment and this unique initiative certainly lives up to this claim. Priyadarshini Taxi Service provides an all women fleet of taxis on the roads of Mumbai. This one-of-its kind initiative not only provides a safe travelling option for working women but also generates employment for women from weaker sections of society.

At the heart of the Priyadarshini Taxi Service is the quest for the economic independence & empowerment of women. All the drivers are self-employed and work at their time of convenience. The focus for hiring is on women whose family income is less than Rs. 10,000/- p.m. Many of the Priyadarshini drivers are the sole bread winners of their family. Priyadarshini drivers take the car home and park in the vicinity of their residence. As a result, there is a tremendous social prestige for the women. The women are expected to work for 28 days in a month. For the remaining days of the month, they are allowed to use the car for personal use with their family. Many of the drivers are widows, single mothers and women from minority communities.

Employees of the Priyadarshini Taxi Service undergo a rigorous three-month training programme. During the training programme, each participant learns to drive a car with skill and confidence, she is taught preventive maintenance of cars and acquires knowledge about places of tourist attractions in Mumbai. The training also imparts communication skills, self-defence techniques, basic accounting principles & first aid to handle emergencies. Participants also undertake yoga and meditation sessions to learn how to cope with stress. The aim of this comprehensive training programme is to ensure that the participants emerge more confident, empowered and smart.

Priyadarshini Taxi Service, Women empowered taxi service | WEBO Power

Priyadarshini Taxi Service is the brainchild of Susieben Shah, an entrepreneur and social activist. Ms Susieben Shah shares, “I have helped implement welfare schemes of the Government for the poor, old and destitute men and women of Mumbai. While visiting them, I came across lots of young women, who had a twinkle in their eyes and a hunger to reach out & succeed. What they lacked was the opportunity and path to realize their dreams. We took on this mantle and enrolled women who wanted to enter the male dominated profession of driving taxis in Mumbai.” Ms. Shah further elaborates that the basic thought behind Priyadarshini Taxi Service was to empower women economically.

Ms. Shah has been widely applauded for this initiative and even felicitated by The Indian Merchants Chamber, Mumbai for meritorious contribution towards Women’s Empowerment.

Ms. Shah is a source of inspiration for many women entrepreneurs. She opines, “You must believe in your dreams. If you really believe the cause is good, then you should get started. Your idea has to be viable, profitability comes later. When the enterprise is younger, you have to nurture it like your own baby for a couple of years. There might be challenges, but the 1000 day promise holds true. If you are persistent, you cannot fail. Profitability should not be the only criteria, believe in yourself and get started.”

Priyadarshini Taxi Service commenced its operation in the year 2008. This service is essentially designed for women commuters. This service is used extensively by Call Centres, Corporates, Travel Agents, Hotels, etc. for their women employees and customers, who feel more comfortable if the taxi is driven by a woman! The Priyadarshini Taxi Service assures them the much sought after safety, security and comfort.

These indomitable women taxi drivers are charting a new course in the male dominated world of Mumbai taxi drivers.

Next time you are in Mumbai, you can contact Priyadarshini Taxi Services at www.priyadarshinitaxi.com

Interviewed By: Supriya Mathur
Posted On: October 22, 2012

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2 Comments on “Priyadarshini Taxi Service”

  1. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future.
    Many thanks

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    July 11, 2014 at 3:23 am Reply
  2. Thankamani Sreenivasan #

    I have used this service once this year to go around Mumbai with a friend of mine from Singapore. I felt the service absolutely without any problem and it was a pleasure to see a lady (I got Ms Sushma as the driver) driving the car and the sincerity and enthusiasm she has is worth to appraise. A tiny girl little beautiful girl. I will always prefer to take this service whenever I am in need and will try to promote this waves of women empowerment to the maximum possible. Good Luck.

    June 25, 2013 at 10:33 am Reply

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