33% Rise In Women Drivers In Odisha, But Way Less Than Other States
Cuttack: The number of women drivers in Odisha has increased by 33 per cent women drivers in the last five years. Between 2017 and 2021, around 8,580 women have acquired driving licence taking the total to 33,666 in 2021.
In fact, in 2019 and 2020, the number of women driving license holders was more than 36,000. However, the figure is not very encouraging compared to other states, said Sanjay Biswal, Joint Commissioner Transport, Road Safety.
“We need to encourage more and more women to come forward and take up driving,” said Biswal. Women gain confidence by learning to drive and are thus not dependent upon others for their daily commute, he added.
The Transport Department provides free professional driving training to women at the Government Driving Training School (DTS), Bhubaneswar and HMV Driving Training Institute (DTI), Chhatia.
There is an increase in number of women trainees in both the institutes over the years, said Biswal. Giving the figures, he said from 25 women trainees in 2016-17, at DTS, Bhubaneswar to 90 women, who are taking lessons to drive commercial vehicle, there has been a vast change in the society’s approach towards allowing women to take the wheels. Of the total, 60 belong to Capital Region Urban Transport, said Biswal.
Bhubaneswar DTS was started in 1973-74 with a view to impart non-residential LMV Driving Training to rural youths of Odisha, free of cost (except DL fees and admission fees) to create job opportunity for the trainees trained through this Institute.
Similarly, the enrolment of women is steadily increasing at HMV DTI, Chhatia as well. “Around 60 women have been trained in the last three to four years. The institute provides livelihood and job placement support to the trainee drivers. Some of them are placed with private and government agencies after successfully completing the course. There are lady trainers also present in the institute who teach driving regularly along with soft skills,” said Sadiq Hussain Syed, Principal, HMV DTI, Chhatia.
The institute provides 30 days of residential HMV driving training. It is operational on 44 acres since 2013. A total of 16,727 students have passed out from this institute since its inception.