To progress as a nation, the progress has to be inclusive. And Mumbai shows the way with the inauguration of nation’s first radio taxi service by the LGBT community – ‘Wings Rainbow’. The services will start functioning from 2017.
This inclusive initiative has been taken by the Wings Travels and Humsafar Trust of Mumbai. Humsafar Trust is a community of LGBT individuals which is functioning since 1994 in Mumbai. Five members from this LGBT community has now initially signed up to be the first few to drive these radio cabs. They will apply for a learner’s licence, and complete their training in getting the All India Driver’s Licence. During the period, till they get their permanent driving licence, they will be also given customer etiquette training for a better end user experience.
“Humsafar Trust was approached by Wings Travel for this programme; we hope that more members of the hijra and transgender community come forward to take advantage of this” said Pallav Patankar, Director — Programs, The Humsafar Trust.
“We want them to be eventual entrepreneurs and own these vehicles. We want to ensure that the LGBT community in India enjoys the same rights and livelihood opportunities in India as their counterparts in the West” said Arun Kharat to The Hindu. Arun is the founder-director of Wings Travels and Management (India).
Wings Travels currently operates more than 5000 radio taxis in nine Indian cities including Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Chandigarh. “While the first five are trained, we will continue enrollment from the LGBT community up to 1,500 people across all the nine cities” said Arun. Kudos to Wings Travels for this inclusive step towards a positive India.
More respect and pride to the RAINBOW as India also got its first transgender music band – “6 Pack Band” in the very beginning of year 2016. Know more about it here.
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