Viira is a cab service with a difference, operated by a few women of substance in the mega city of Mumbai. Operated by women and only for women, it is a female driver bureau, recruitment agency and a motor training school all at once. The word , viira, literally means courageous woman and indeed the team behind this novel venture has beaten all the odds to come out bold and brave.
The three month training package offered by viira for women drivers includes 155 hours of driving practice in addition to classes on traffic signs, customer relations, etiquette, grooming and even martial arts, which helps the cab drivers to be bold and on their own on the city roads. Apart from making hundreds of women self employed and confident, viira is propagating the art of skillful driving and busting the myth that women do not make good drivers! Armed with batons and pepper spray to handle the eve teasers that they may come across, the women cabbies are taking the success saga of women power to higher planes by every day.
It is high time that we at Kerala too emulate the model set by these bold and beautiful women in Mumbai and it is interesting to note that one of the partners of viira is a Malayali. A cab service on this line will alleviate the mobility issues of senior citizens and young girls who often find it difficult and unsafe to travel alone in taxis.
We probably are in more need of a cab service for women by women than anyone else in the country as Kerala has one of the highest instances of sexual harassment and eve teasing, which makes traveling on the city roads a hazard for women . With the latest incident of the brutal rape and killing of a hapless young women in a passenger train still remaining fresh in our minds, we are in urgent need of cabs and auto rickshaws run for women by women. Any takers for this novel concept?