Patna to get 18 more women autorickshaw drivers

Patna, Aug 27 (IANS) Encouraged by the success of over a dozen women autorickshaw drivers, who hit the roads in Patna 10 days ago, the Bihar government has given licences to 18 more women to drive the commercial vehicle, an official Tuesday said.

"We have provided learning licences to 18 more women to work as autorickshaw drivers in Patna," Dinesh Kumar Rai, a district official, said.

He said the Bihar State Autorickshaw Drivers' Association (BSADA) would arrange training for more women drivers in the first week of September.

In a rare first for Bihar, the first batch of 15 women autorickshaw drivers started operating the commercial vehicle in the capital Aug 17, officials said.

Rajkumar Jha, BSADA general secretary, said that they trained the first batch of women autorickshaw drivers and helped them get bank loans for vehicles.

"All of them started their new career as autorickshaw drivers with learners' licences. They would be issued permanent licences soon," he said.

Jha said a private bank has provided a loan between Rs.1.5-2 lakh to each trainee to by the vehicle. The women put in only Rs.10,000-20,000 each. Every month, they would have to pay between Rs.3,000-4,000 towards repayment of the loan.

The women drivers have initially been assigned to work on pre-paid basis from Patna Junction, Gandhi Maidan and few other places.

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