The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has added some canine teeth to a training project to help city women become cab drivers.
The MCD plans to impart driving lessons to 100 women “from all walks of life” and protection skills to an equal number of dogs at a training centre on a three-acre plot near the Tis Hazari ice factory in North Delhi.
“We have discussed this proposal in our revenue committee meeting and it has been given an in-proposal approval too. The land comes under the slum department of the MCD and hence we will be providing training to slum dwellers also,” a senior MCD official said on the condition of anonymity.
"There is a huge slum behind the plot and we thought of providing skills to these women to help them earn a living. But their only apprehension was whether they would be safe in the cab. This is when we thought of training dogs too who will act as a safety wall. We are planning to rope in German Shepherds for the project," the official said. "Once the dogs are trained, they will live with the women so they can get familiarised to them."
The project will be executed on a built-operate-and-transfer basis involving a private firm that will hire the trainers and also build the centre.
But the plan has welcomed its share of criticism.
“How will the dog differentiate between good and bad passengers? The idea sounds good theoretically, but it's not practical,” said VK Arora, a Krishna Vihar resident.