Putting an end to a practice continuing since decades, Kerela government has now appointed women as drivers of official vehicles in government offices and public sector establishments. So far, only men had been appointed for decades. A cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, took the decision on Wednesday. A statement issued over the decision mentions that women would be appointed as drivers as part of the government's decision “to ensure gender equality in all walks of society”.
"The cabinet has decided to induct women as drivers in government services and public-sector units. For this, the existing recruitment rules will be amended," an official release said.
The government had recently formed the first women battalion with over 550 members as part of efforts to enhance the representation of women in the police force.
State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac commended the government decision in a recent tweet he posted, saying: "Kerala government decides to recruit women to driver posts in different departments. Rules will be appropriately amended. Another male bastion falls."
We now come across more stories of women working on self-dependency. To help with that, Azad Foundation, a non-profit organisation that trains resource-poor women to take up driving professionally, started 'Women on Wheels' programme in 2008.
For a fee as small as Rs 2,000 -- payable in installments -- for the entire training period of 6-8 months, women from poor communities work at their driving skills and knowledge of road rules at different centres across Delhi.