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A hostess stands near the coasters that would exclusively cater to the transport needs of women. — Online
A hostess stands near the coasters that would exclusively cater to the transport needs of women. — Online

RAWALPINDI: For the first time, the women of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad will have exclusive transport service.

The concept to extend comfortable, safe and affordable transportation facilities to women was materialised on Monday with the name of “Tabeer Women Transport Service”.

The project was launched by Zong, a private cellular company, in collaboration with Regional Transport Authority (RTA).

Punjab Minister for Labour & Human Resource Raja Ashfaq Sarwar along with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Officers of District Administration, Secretary District Transport Authority and representatives of partner organizations launched the project.

The event was attended by MNAs Malik Ibrar Ahmed, Begum Tahira Aurangzaib, MPAs Iftikhar Malik, Raja Mohammad Hanif, Zaibun Nisa Awan, Tehsin Fawad, Sobia Satti, DCO Rawalpindi Sajid Zafar Daal, heads and representatives of public and private sector participated in the event.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Punjab Minister for Labour & Human Resource Raja Ashfaq Sarwar termed the project an excellent example of public and private partnership.

He said that Tabeer Women Transport Service would enable women to avail this exclusive transportation facility to reach their destinations without any hassle.

He also appreciated the spirit of partner organisations for extending their cooperation in making the project a success.

MNA Malik Ibrar Ahmed dubbed Tabeer Women Transport Project welfare oriented which would provide a sense of protection to women.

He said the service would benefit a large number of female students and working women.

MNA Ms Tahira Aurangzib said that the project would not only meet the travelling needs of females but would also generate employment for them as the wagons will be conducted by the female.

District Coordination Officer (DCO) Sajid Zafar Dall said that administration had provided every possible support to ensure that women commuters got best transportation facilities.He assured full protection to the wagons. He also appreciated the role of Secretary RTA as coordinator of Tabeer Women Transport Project.

He said that this would be a pilot project and after it proved successful it would be extended to other areas to facilitate maximum number of women.

He said woman would serve as road hostess in Tabeer Women Transport Service and in case of any complaint of the passengers, immediate action would be taken for redressal.

He said that only vehicles up to 2008 models would be allowed to play on these routes.

Adviser to CEO Zong Sikandar Naqi informed the audience on the occasion that all seats are dedicated to women and said the journey of all 12 vans will start at 7am in the morning and conclude at 7pm.

He appreciated the cooperation of administration and elected representatives and said that the project would be expanded throughout the Province. Mr. Ali Yazdani also spoke on the occasion.

Comments (40) Closed

Danish Haider Feb 18, 2014 08:40am

Good News - came through "Dawn" Heartly congratulations! What a great initiative by Zong/RTA. Please keep those vehicle clean, lets learn to live in civilized manner.

Nikki Feb 18, 2014 09:00am

Please start this facility in other parts of Punjab and Pakistan too.

Ajaya K Dutt Feb 18, 2014 10:13am

Congratulations on this empowerment initiative.

a Feb 18, 2014 11:05am

This is actually a very good idea. Kudos to the whole team responsible for this project. May allah grant this project success. Ameen.

A Pakistani Feb 18, 2014 11:57am

This is just a show off for a couple of weeks....................then like rest of the projects this service will be in shambles and history..........hope other readers also agree with me;)

K K Feb 18, 2014 12:04pm

Well done, excellent. Our women are in desperate need of such service. I recomend this for all the cities of Pakistan.... Well done again...........

mba Feb 18, 2014 12:55pm

A very positive development. I hope, someone has thought about the security aspects. A regular transport service for working women and students is a potential target for stone-age-people of TTP and their likes.

Farooq Feb 18, 2014 12:59pm

Great beginning. It is important to realize the importance of women in our society. And acknowledging their existance and attending to their basic societal needs is a good step in the right direction. Keep it up....

Mujtaba Feb 18, 2014 01:26pm

Good. We should give credit where it's due

rahimn Feb 18, 2014 01:53pm

Nice initiative, but we will need quite a lot of vehicles to full fill the needs if this pilot project with only 12 vans works.

Aziz Feb 18, 2014 01:56pm

A good, and much needed service along the lines of Daewoo.

While rich Pakistanis take their money out of the country to Dubai, London, NY and Geneva foreigners are investing in infrastructures and services which provides employment. They seem to have more faith in Pakistan than many so-called Pakistanis whose two main objectives are to keep their mostly stolen money "safe overseas" and to criticise the country ad nauseam.

M Kamal Feb 18, 2014 02:41pm

Excellent idea, and I hope that this pilot project is successful

kashif Feb 18, 2014 03:03pm

Good but it's not futuristic nor viable. I wonder when we will start planning for the future...Varan was a better choice where every bus had a dedicated seating area for women. With these Vans, how often they think they can run the vans ? & for how long women have to stand on a stop to wait for the Women only Van...disgusting ideas

Oz Feb 18, 2014 04:28pm

Well done and good luck. Provide the safety and security that you could not in mixed public transport. Also, someone will need to check for Mullah Abdul aziz or his accomplises of Lal Masjid hiding in burqah's.

Nasser Feb 18, 2014 05:26pm

I feel it is a good move, but it only affects a very tiny proprtion of the female population. The vast 95% plus of the female population of the country will still have to use the ordinary buses and they must be made to FEEL secure, as they have to share the bus with men. A seperate section for females must continue and there must be strict application of swift penalty (based on evidence, on the spot, and with a receipt), on any passenger (usually male) misbehaving. If the culprit cannot pay the fine immediately, he/she must be made to pay a higher fine at a particular police station. It is enforcement only which will make travel safe and secure for all concerned, but in particular women. The other good thing is the private-public partnership where the arrangement is transparent to minimise corruption.

Waqas Bhatti Feb 18, 2014 05:30pm

Its sad that a state claiming to be an Islamic state had to do this to protect women. Somehow, I see this step standing in the same line where we have to deploy policemen to safeguard mosque attendees.

Regardless, its a lovely move by the govt. Well done.

Adnan Feb 18, 2014 06:54pm

The MNA like Malik Abrar Ahmad have absolutely no long term vision, projects like these need to come from govt sector not from private enterprise. It shows his failure to convince his own party chief to get funding. Rawalpindi Islamabad need a metro system , the long term vision should be to incorporate metro in cities like Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi-Islamabad.

Najeeb khan Feb 18, 2014 07:34pm

It's an excellent initiative towards a more responsible transportation, Well done Zong CSR corporate Social Responsibility.

Avaice Feb 18, 2014 08:35pm

Good initiative

Pakiwi Feb 18, 2014 09:15pm

A really good idea - hope it's implemented well. Should be present in all major cities of Pakistan.

Just Someone Feb 18, 2014 10:59pm

Very good initiative. Let's see when it can be started in other cities.

In the near future, the number of vans should be increased and if possible, the closing time should be extended by a couple of hours.

Gulbaz Mushtaq Feb 19, 2014 02:38am

Very good

Farhan Feb 19, 2014 03:08am

Great work! I wish to see such a service in Karachi as well

N Feb 19, 2014 04:03am

Very good project

FerozQ Feb 19, 2014 06:37am

Segregation of sexes has never solved any problem, in fact doing so makes it worse to achieve gender equality. Please let us not turn Pakistan into Saudi Arabia. Segregation of sexes sends a horrible message to young ones. They grow up to view women as not equal to men. Instead of a separated transport, why not abolish quota system for women that has kept them subservient to men in Pakistan? Women deserve complete equality in Pakistan and what our country has been turned into by

Agha Ata Feb 19, 2014 06:54am

How many women need to travel alone form one city to another? Not many, I suppose.

shahid Kinnare Feb 19, 2014 08:05am

Again trying to divide society why establishment is going to learn its lesson.

Khanm Feb 19, 2014 12:18pm

If women demand equal rights then why this special privilege!!!! folks

Tariq, Lahore Feb 19, 2014 06:35pm

Will the drivers be women as well or will the male hand still be present in the guise of drivers? The on-board service should be completely managed by females only to make it truly safe for our mothers, wives and sisters!

illawarrior Feb 20, 2014 06:57am

@Agha Ata: Who says they are travelling alone? There could be two or more women travelling together.

illawarrior Feb 20, 2014 07:00am

@Nasser: Why should a higher fine be applicable just because someone does not have sufficient funds on them at the time? Why should the poor man pay more than the rich one?

illawarrior Feb 20, 2014 07:04am

How sad that such a service is necessary. If men truly behaved according to Islamic principles, women would be safe to go anywhere and everywhere, without fear of harassment.

sophia Feb 20, 2014 08:06am

If these women lived in a country where they were not harassed by men everytime they got on public transport they would not find such transport helpful. I know I have had many a days on public transport as a woman. Its a great project. They should have local transport exclusively for women.

s Feb 20, 2014 09:42am

Id like to learn about routes please!

ria Feb 20, 2014 12:42pm

I wish they have this transport in Karachi . Islamabad doesn't have much population but Karachi does n their are many many women working in Karachi . It would be more good if they have it here too..

saira Feb 21, 2014 02:41pm

@Khanm: So funny, men always remember equal rights if anything is done to relieve the hugely disporportionate amount of suffering of Pakistani women.

saira Feb 21, 2014 02:41pm

@Agha Ata: Need and willingness are two different things.

saira Feb 21, 2014 02:45pm

@Ajaya K Dutt: Hardly empowering by making women feel that to feel safe they must be kept away from men in public places.

saira Feb 21, 2014 02:46pm

@Danish Haider: :) if we knew how to live in a civilized manner, women won't need separate buses, would they?

saira Feb 21, 2014 02:47pm

Terribly regressive idea. Maybe we need to pay more attention to why our men are so incapable of behaving civily and respectfully to women and why women are so unable to stand up for themselves.