Delhi Transport Corporation has finally decided to recruit more female bus drivers in its fleet, nearly 20 months after Venkadarath Saritha became the first woman to join the men-only brigade of DTC bus drivers last year.
The corporation said it had chalked out a training programme for ‘enthusiastic’ women drivers wherein they would be entitled to a stipend. Besides this, it identified the company that would provide drivers who could be trained.
“We have written to Sakha Cab Operators requesting them to send us names of all eligible female candidates under them who could fill the posts of drivers in our buses. The candidates will be trained at two of our institutes and will also get a stipend,” a DTC official said.
The duration of the training may vary from three to six months depending on how quick a candidate picks up driving skills. The candidates will later be provided with heavy motor vehicle (HMV) licenses too. The mass transport corporation said that in order to encourage more women to take up the job, it had relaxed a few norms in the selection process too.
“The rules state that a driver must have a license to drive a heavy motor vehicle and have at least three years of experience driving a bus. However, women will now need only a commercial light motor vehicle (LMV) license during their training period,” the official added.
Contacted, Sakha Cab Operators, the company that has been asked to provide the drivers, however, said that it had not yet received any clarity on the criteria set by DTC for selection of the drivers. “We received the letter from DTC on November 23. But, it has not conveyed to us any of its latest driver eligibility criteria based on which we could send them names of women drivers associated with us,” said Sophia Akoijam, Chief Operating Officer at Sakha Consulting Wings Private Limited.
A DTC official informed HT that a meeting with the company has been scheduled by the end of this month to decide on the final set of guidelines. Sources said, age and required height relaxation for women drivers are also on the cards for discussion during the meeting.