Pakistani environmentalist launches women-only auto-rickshaw in Lahore

Written by: Jagriti
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Lahore, April 10: An environmentalist in Pakistan, fed up with being groped and harassed by male auto-rickshaw drivers, has launched an auto rickshaw service exclusively for women.

The service was launched by the environmentalist Zar Aslam, president of Pakistan's non-profit Environment Protection Fund, in Lahore, Dawn online reported.

Lahore gets women auto rickshaw service

Aslam who once narrowly escaped a kidnaping attempt by an auto rickshaw driver when she was a student triggered the idea to launch the "Pink Rickshaw" service.

Pakistan is notorious for sexual abuse of women, euphemistically known as "Eve-teasing".

"I and my co-workers face harassment by male auto drivers or by passersby while waiting for public transport," said Aslam.

The rickshaws painted pink and white are covered three-wheel motorcycles. Fans, doors have also been fitted in the auto rickshaw for the convenience and safety of women passengers.

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Aslam is looking for sponsors as she plans to have at least 25 up and running by the end of the year.

"One auto costs 300,000 rupees (about $3,000), therefore it cannot be done without sponsorship from donors," she said, adding that the government has not offered any assistance.

"We will lease out the autos to deserving females on easy instalment," Aslam said. "We will teach them driving and will also help them get the driving licence," said Aslam.

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