India’s First LGBT Cab Service Launched By Wings Travels & Humsafar Trust In Mumbai
Transgenders in India are surviving in a pathetic state: either you see them begging on roads, trains or you find them during any special occasion like marriage or child birth when they arrive to ask money from the household.
Our society’s regressive attitude towards them has a cruel, historical past, which forces them to survive in such manner day in and day out. Although talks and proposals have been introduced in the past, but nothing concrete has been done to include them in the mainstream commercial and cultural timeline.
In one of the major revolutionary coups, India’s first LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) operated radio taxi has been launched in Mumbai, which is aiming to provide employment to 15,000+ LGBT members in Mumbai.
This special project has been launched by Wings Travels and Humsafar Trust, which are based out of Mumbai itself.
During the launch, Pallav Patankar who is the director programs in Humsafar Trust, said, “Judgments and laws are passed, but they are limited only to conversations. This initiative is a way to turn ‘intellectualisation’ into reality.”
In the pilot project, 5 members of LGBT community would be trained professional cab driving, and would be helped to acquire driving license within next 12 months. Humsafar Trust and Wings Travels will spend close to Rs 4000 on every member to train them and empower them to earn their livelihoods by running the cab service. Soon, this model shall be replicated across India.
As per the available details, these specially trained LGBT drivers would be eventually provided ownership of these cabs, which will help them to lead a normal life.
Constitutional Rights of Transgenders in India
In a landmark judgment in 2014, Supreme Court had declared that transgenders will have the same constitutional rights as that of a male or female Indian. And, considering that they are economically backwards, they will be provided with reservations wherever possible.
There are around 20-30 lakh LGBT members in India, and this was easily the biggest legal recognition they received in India.
As per Humsafar Trust, several business organizations had approached them to kickstart LGBT focused ventures, but plans couldn’t materialize in a massive way.
In the last few months, several new projects have been launched such as:
However, the launching of dedicated cab service which will be run by LGBT members is certainly something big for the community, as they will be now part of the entrepreneurship bandwagon, and commercial industry.
Kudos to Wings Travel and Humsafar Trust for creating a better world for LGBT community.