On the eve of Bhai Dooj, Arvind Kejriwal, The Chief Minister of Delhi tweeted “The Country can progress when the women will progress” as he rolled out a new travel scheme of women’s of Delhi as a gift of Bhai Dooj. The new scheme was announced on Monday night. Free rides will be offered to women across all the transport under Delhi Transport Commission (DTC) and cluster scheme operators. The scheme offers a free ride to all the women in the Delhi region in Delhi Travel Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses, in over 55000 state-run buses. The women commuters are given a pink ticket to avail the free ride.
The pink ticket is provided to the women commuters as a free pass for the travel. It has a single woman outlined on it and reads “single yatra pass”. On the back of the ticket, there is a personalized message from brother Kejriwal in Hindi which roughly translates to “I wish great prosperity to you and your family. The country will progress when the women progress”.
Delhi Womens thankful for the Bhai Dooj gift:
The free travel gift of Arvind Kejriwal was received by the sisters with much fervour and enthusiasm. The day turned out to be a day of excitement and gratitude for the women. A daily commuter of DTC, Tara Devi travels from North East Delhi to South Delhi for work. On Tuesday while she was travelling to reach her destination, the conductor refused to take money for the ticket and said that travel is free of cost from now. Tara Devi was surprised by the news and was grateful to Kejriwal.
Everyone expressed gratitude for the new scheme as it saves their daily travel expenses and ensures more safety while travelling. For a woman who has to spend daily 20-25 rupees in her travels, she could save around 15000 to 20000 in a year. Free bus travel scheme for women was announced by Kejriwal on the independence day speech. Ok August 29, the cabinet gave in-principle approval to the scheme of providing free bus rides. The women government employees have to give up on their travel allowance to avail the free bus ride scheme.
Not everyone is happy and satisfied with just the free ride for women:
A lot of people have expressed gratitude and thanked Kejriwal government for the new scheme. There are people who are not satisfied with the decision of free ride only on the bus or free ride only to women. Bilkis, who works as a domestic helper said that the rides must be free for men too. She explained that her husband earns Rs. 100 – Rs. 200 in a day as a daily worker while some days he doesn’t earn at all. All transport should be free for all, she added.
Another 22-year-old College student, Amanat Gill said that it shouldn’t be free for all but for people who are below the poverty line. He said “The Government can set new bars to assess candidates economically.” Though Bus travel is free now, not everyone is happy. Many people complained about the frequency of buses in some areas.
Delhi Government is continuously improving the facilities and safety for the women’s. Making the travel free of cost was a huge step towards empowering women. Delhi government has also increased the number of marshals in public buses to ensure the safety of women on board. Earlier there were only 3400 marshals which is not increased to 13000. Kejriwal also proposed free metro travel for women but the free metro travel scheme had to face severe backlash from the opposition.