Many women and girls in India are often marginalized, underserved, and underprivileged. They have a more challenging time accessing resources such as education, and will be the first in their families to be pulled out of educational institutions when families resources' become limited. Many girls grow to be women that are dependent on their partners and husbands to provide income to their households, keeping them in the cycle of vulnerability to be dependent on others and not themselves.
Planeterra is providing resources, such as vehicles, to be used by women that have been trained by our ground partners, The Azad Foundation, through a commercial chauffeur training program to empower poor women in Delhi. Our ground partners are training poor women from surrounding slum regions to obtain their drivers licence, and become certified commercial chauffeurs for other women or couples. Women are also trained in English, self defence, CPR, women's rights, and communications. This 8 to 10 month course ends with our partners helping the beneficiaries receive their first driver's licence and then linking them with the resources to start working in a new dignified job opportunity. Over 65 women have been trained in this program and they currently have 11 vehicles on the road. We are helping Azad Foundation increase these numbers both through additional vehicle purchase as well as providing an ongoing market of single, female, travellers from G Adventures.
Each vehicle costs averages $8,200 - $10,200 USD.
With the number of recent violent abuses and rapes that have been publicized in India, the safety and concern for both local women and travellers has increased. Women on Wheels is providing both job opportunities for women to become the major income stream for their families, becoming the primary bread winners, and in turn, the ability to be empowered to make household decisions for themselves and their families. This program is also acting as a means to safely transport women travelling alone.