Forty-five year old Khursheeda of Trilokpuri, Delhi, was engaged in waste collection from Noida and Trilokpuri. She anxiously awaits Tuesday that will bring her way a dignified means of earning an income and taking care of her two daughters.
She is one of the 151 women who will be given e-rickshaws under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna’ that will launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Sector 62, Noida, on Tuesday.
The scheme will provide commuters with the facility to hire an e-rickshaw using a mobile application and ensure digital transfer of fare into the accounts of e-rickshaw drivers.
Besides empowering women from poor financial background, the drive will bring also into the mainstream transgenders and give them a means of earning an assured income.
“When I learnt about the e-rickshaw scheme during a nukkad natak (street play) in our locality, I decided to get one. My two sons are engaged in small-time jobs. My daughters study in class 9 and 11 and I hardly earn enough to fund their education. With an e-rickshaw, I will be able to support my daughters’ education,” Khursheeda said.
Likewise, Geeta Saxena, who works as a domestic help, is also preparing to be an e-rickshaw driver.
“Now, I will not have to look to anyone for money. I will become financially independent,” she said.
The officials of Bhartiya Micro Credit, the company facilitating the e-rickshaw distribution, said 151 women from the NCR region will be given e-rickshaws.
“We are also trying to give e-rickshaws to 21 transgenders. The documentation for seven is complete. Customers can book e-rickshaws via mobile apps and pay online,” said Vijay Pandey, managing director of Bhartiya Micro Credit.
“The women are trained in karate (for self defence) and have been educated about tourist destinations and local places,” Pandey said.
A ministry of finance statement said customers will be able to book e-rickshaws using the Ola app and pay online via Freecharge, which will be integrated under the Digital India initiative”.
Pandey said nearly Rs 68 crore for the 5,100 e-rickshaws -- costing nearly Rs 1.33 lakh each -- was sponsored by seven banks. The free distribution of radio sets to e-rickshaw drivers is sponsored by four companies, including BMC.
In addition, the recipients will also be covered under Pradhan Matri Jan Dhan Yojna, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana schemes and eight other Central schemes.
Modi is also scheduled to launch the “Stand Up India” scheme and a web portal on Tuesday. The “Stand up India Scheme” is aimed to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste/Schedule Tribe and women for loans in the range of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 100 lakh.