We all desire to have a comforting and safe commute from home to workplace, but sometimes that isn’t possible when uncivilized male rickshaw or cab drivers make it hard for women by giving them long stares and being unnecessarily chummy. To ensure that women have a safe and sound drive around the city of Lahore, the CEO of The Environment Protection Fund (TEPF) Zar Aslam, started the Pink Rickshaw project. The three wheeler rickshaws have an aesthetic appeal, have a well-designed exterior and interior with comfortable and spacious seating arrangement for three at a time.
The project is very close to Zar Aslam’s heart and she feels strongly about providing women safe, comforting and economical transport since she herself has been a victim of attempt kidnapping by a male rickshaw driver. She is also outspoken about the harassment she and her fellow colleagues face while waiting for public transport and paints the rickshaw project as a source for empowering women.
Women in the driving seat! Pink Rickshaw, Lahore, Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/1Exv5U7S26
— zar aslam (@zaraslam) April 12, 2017
The two major goals of this project are to generate income for women who are looking for financial independence since the rickshaws are only driven by women and secondly, to provide harassment and anxiety free rides to female customers.
Women who commute through pink rickshaw are very happy with this initiative but more so the women who apply as drivers are thrilled to be part of this project. They are learning driving and safety skills, contributing to the society, becoming financially independent, and enjoying their rides. Men have also appreciated this project, they are teaching their wives how to drive the rickshaw and some consider it as a great opportunity for lower-middle class women looking for employment opportunities.
A proud moment for us; more empowered women driving Pink Rickshaws in streets of LHR! Putting Women in the Driving Seat:). pic.twitter.com/IK9yGdfNR2
— zar aslam (@zaraslam) December 19, 2016
Citizens of Pakistan may be nonchalant about women transport issues but are not oblivious of everyday torture that women go through when looking for safe, reliable, economical and comfortable transport options. Due to several problems, The Pink Rickshaw project is a breath of fresh air for women of Lahore and we hope this project keeps reaching for great height and launches successfully across the whole country, including small towns and villages.
— zar aslam (@zaraslam) May 31, 2017