In one of its kind initiative in India, Mumbai roads will be soon hit by members of LGBT community driving radio cabs to earn livelihood.

The city-based community organization Humsafar trust in collaboration with Wings Travels rolled out the ‘Wings Rainbow’the country’s first LGBT powered radio cab service, on Wednesday.

These two organizations will impart training to the LGBT members (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) who are willing to take driving as their profession. Also, it will provide assistance in obtaining the driving license.

The whole idea behind this initiative is to empower the LGBT section and provide them employment. It is a stepping stone towards making them stand along the two other genders.

Under the project, five members of the community will be given extensive training to drive a cab. It will continue for six months during which they will also be taught some soft skills that will better their social conduct. After making them eligible to drive radio cabs, organization will get them certified license.

Arun Kharat, founder  and director, Wings Travels, said “We have openings for nearly 1,500 LGBT members in Mumbai under the programme. We are aiming to turn it a pan-India scheme”.

For the community people, it is difficult to find a job owing to the stigma attached with them. And this project aims at making way for LGBT community in the corporate sector.

“Judgments and laws are passed, but they are limited only to conversations. This initiative is a way to turn ‘intellectualisation’ into reality,” said Pallav Patankar, director programs, Humsafar Trust.

“In Thailand, these members work in every sector. We need to build the sensitivity of corporate in the country,” he added.

The pilot project will provide a respectable way of earning to the LGBT community, which is striving hard to get the dignified livelihood since ages. If the project will go right, LGBT members will no longer be dependent on begging at traffic signals, gate crashing weddings, working as prostitutes etc to make their ends meet.

Wings Rainbow is expected to hit the Mumbai roads in one year.

21 Jan 2015

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