After Indira Canteen, the state government will launch 'Indira Sarige' transport service that will ferry only women and students at low fares. The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation will oversee its operations and it has been decided to operate in select few cities. The service will be launched on November 19 to commemorate the birth anniversary of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
In fact, buses that ferried only students and women was nothing new for BMTC. For decades ago, there were buses that met the rush hour of women employees of Vidhana Soudha. Similarly, there were buses for students too. However, now the government wants to have exclusive buses for women and student community under the Indira Sarige.
After targeting low-income and poor communities through Indira Canteen, it is reported that Indira Sarige is expected to cater to women who mostly work in garment factories for their livelihood. The Indira Sarige buses will have discounted ticket fare for its beneficiaries.
While the government is still working out on the pros and cons of the initiative, we at Asianet Newsable urge the government to consider these suggestions for Indira Sarige buses.
1. Can we have women drivers?
Since the Indira Sarige aims to cater to women, we expect us to be driven by a woman driver. Women drivers are seldom seen in BMTC buses these days. Although Transport Minister HM Revanna had said that 50 per cent of drivers' post would go for women in the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, we expect this to take off from Indira Sarige buses itself. Can we see more of Prema Ramappa Nadapatti, the first female BMTC bus driver?
2. Will it reduce the burden on students?
The Indira Sarige buses not just cater to women but students also. How about making them student-friendly? It is common to see students carrying the load bags on their back and in case they do not get seats, they carry the burden till their stop comes. At least, will the government provide some racks so that students could keep their heavy bags and be relaxed till they reach their stop?
3. A dash of pink will make women have their right on these buses
It is nearly impossible to identify the Indira Sarige buses in the traffic. Adding a dash of pink to these buses would do great in helping the women to track down the buses. While it gives them the sense of 'their' bus, it could prevent men from getting into it.
4. Safety must be the priority
Since the government claims that Indira Sarige buses will exclusively be for women and students, will it ignore security? Apart from installing CCTVs in these buses, will the government provide a home guard in these buses to instil safety of women?
5. Panic button will do a lot good
Providing a panic button in Indira Sarige buses will at least increase the safety of passengers who are only women and students. In case of bus break down or any other emergencies, having a panic button will do good in a long way.
As the concept of buses exclusive for women and students is on the verge of reality, we hope these pleas aren't too much to ask from the government.