By Women for Women: Delhi’s Unique Cab Service

Kshitij Nagar
2016.03.08
New Delhi
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Sakha Cab drivers converse in their small, busy office in New Delhi, March 8, 2016. Kshitij Nagar/BenarNews

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Young women await their daily driving assignments. Kshitij Nagar/BenarNews

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Commercial driver Deepa, 23, begins her shift. Kshitij Nagar/BenarNews

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Photographs of drivers, certificates and commendations cover the wall. Kshitij Nagar/BenarNews

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An almost empty key chain holder is next to a poster speaking out against gender-based violence. Kshitij Nagar/BenarNews

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Co-founder Shrinivas Rao interacts with a driver in his office. Kshitij Nagar/BenarNews

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The rearview mirror reflects driver Anjana Varma, 32. Kshitij Nagar/BenarNews

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Driver Sunita, 37, takes a passenger to her destination. Kshitij Nagar/BenarNews

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Sunita checks behind her before backing up. Kshitij Nagar/BenarNews

Tucked away in the heart of New Delhi, a small but busy office is attempting to make life easier for women commuters.

Sakha Cabs, part of the Sakha Consultancy Wings group, is a taxi service meant only for women. All of its drivers are women.

Sakha, which means “reliable friend,” was launched in 2008 amid concerns over the safety of women in Delhi, described as India’s rape capital.

Latest available figures from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show there were 1,813 rapes reported in Delhi in 2014, the highest among cities or states in the country.

Service co-founder Shrinivas Rao said that along with helping women travel safely, the business also offers a chance to earn a livelihood.

“We intend to encourage the mobility of women, which has been restricted due to the fear perception,” Rao told BenarNews.

Sakha started with just nine drivers but over the years, more than 650 women have been on its payroll.

The popularity of the service has prompted Rao to launch the concept in other Indian cities including Kolkata.

The service was launched with 20 drivers in Jaipur on Tuesday, coinciding with International Women’s Day.

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