“Goa Tourism launches the first one of its kind taxi service in Goa, driven by women, for women passengers. Goa Tourism decided to take this step forward to cater to women tourists and residents in the State. This initiative ‘Women Taxi Service’ will also give a new career direction to women in Goa”. – Res
Yes! This news was indeed manna for the ears as it was thought it will be great for the tourists to enjoy Goa and all its pleasures without an undertone of sexual harassment and rape incidents. It was a giant leap forward and this piece of awesome announcement by the tourism was surely believed to siphon in more and more tourists to this beach paradise.
The taxis plying the length and breadth of this beautiful state had lady drivers behind the wheels. These drivers were a combination of beauty with brains and they were trained in self-defense, first-aid and also soft skills. The cars were equipped with GPS monitoring system and supported by a panic alert button backed by the back office.
It was a great moment of pride when Union Defense minister Parrikar flagged off the taxis which were all air conditioned in the esteemed presence of the tourism minister Dilip Parulekar and other esteemed guests.
“Mr. Parrikar described the new service as yet another way of government to empower and give opportunities to women for self-employment.”- Res
The minister also referred to the fact that the brainwave of these taxis also empowered the government to ensure that their women folk became self-employed. This novel idea was implemented to put an end to all the unscrupulous fleecing of the lady tourists especially foreigners who are new to the country. These air conditioned taxis could also be availed by contacting the call centers as well as they were stationed at all focal transport terminals.
Goa Tourism (@TourismGoa) January 28, 2015
It was a big day for the women of Goa when a fleet of 10 air-conditioned taxis rolled out with women drivers dressed in white gave wings to this novel idea. They were also termed as travel hostesses and this news was very much welcomed by women tourists from foreign countries! The basic etiquette, the personal hygiene and their good customer relationship was supposed to make a holiday in Goa a very positive experience for one and all!
Mr. Ravindra Vengurlekar, vice-president of the NGTTOA said the rationale behind starting the women taxis is not very clear.
“If these women taxis transport men, then our livelihood will be affected,” he said – Res
This comment has provoked some people and some said it was totally a wet blanket statement! When the idyllic state was robbed of the foreign currency pouring in from tourism and when many of the people lost their livelihood, this indeed was supposed to be a step in the right direction.
“The GTDC has been lying all along. About martial arts, about the taxi service being run by the corporation, about salaries and their rules about ferrying women clients,” Fernandes told a press conference. – Res
When the warmth of the sunshine and the sea was also painted with dark stories of rape and sexual harassment, this taxi service was like a ray of sunshine. But, stories of how the women drivers are not under the protection of GTDC, but of private cab owners make it a ‘scam and sham’!
These women drivers have now become vulnerable as they are asked to ply men passengers at night without much safety as the emergency buttons provided in the car do not work at most times and even the GPS tracking service stops after 7pm. Now it’s like the proverbial jumping from the frying pan to the fire for the women of Goa !