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Women and transgenders to drive heavy vehicles in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has seen women and transgender as cab and auto drivers and now they would handle the gears of the city buses in Bhubaneswar.

The Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) has recently announced to give women and transgender an opportunity to drive heavy vehicles.

CRUT would impart special training to women and transgender in driving heavy motor vehicles in Bhubaneswar.

As per the guidelines issued by CRUT, those interested in the age group of 20 to 40 with a minimum educational qualification of Class X pass or more can apply for the training. The applicant must have a valid Light Motor vehicle (LMV) licence for one year before April 1, 2021.

This initiative will create an ecosystem for a gender-inclusive environment in public transport. It will reduce male dominance in the public transport sector by involving them as sarathis (drivers). It is a lucrative livelihood opportunity that will women and transgender come to the mainstream,” said Dipti Mahapatro, General Manager of CRUT.”

CRUT had earlier introduced E- Rickshaw where only women and transgenders are included as drivers.

Appreciating the initiative, Meghna Sahoo, the first transgender Ola driver in the country shared, “Its good to see that the government authorities in Odisha are taking such steps. People have started accepting transgender communities as part of society. Even members of the community are coming forward to join the mainstream.”

Rani Kinner, who started first driving an auto rickshaw in Bhubaneswar in 2016 said, “When I started driving an auto rickshaw in 2016 that time people didn’t accept a transgender auto driver and avoided sitting on my auto. However, things have changed a lot since then. Involving transgender and women in every sector will change the mindset of the people.”

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