Pink Rickshaw - a step towards women empowerment: owner

Published: April 10, 2015
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Zar Aslam, president of Pakistan's non-profit Environment Protection Fund, drives a Pink Rickshaw in Lahore April 8, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Zar Aslam, president of Pakistan's non-profit Environment Protection Fund, drives a Pink Rickshaw in Lahore April 8, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

An environmentalist, fed up with being groped and harassed by male auto-rickshaw drivers, has launched her own service exclusively for women passengers and drivers in Lahore – with just the one rickshaw on the road so far.

Zar Aslam, president of non-profit Environment Protection Fund, said she once narrowly escaped kidnapping by a rickshaw driver when she was a student, which triggered the idea of launching her “Pink Rickshaw” service.

“This is another step towards women’s financial and professional empowerment,” Aslam told Reuters at her home in Lahore, showing off her first rickshaw.

“I and my co-workers face harassment by male rickshaw drivers or by passersby while waiting for public transport.”

The “rickshaws” are covered three-wheel motorcycles and Aslam bought one to start with, added fans, doors and headlights and painted it pink and white.

The plan is to have at least 25 up and running by the end of the year, with the Aslam looking out for sponsors.

“One auto costs 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 rickshaws to deserving females on easy instalment,” Aslam said. “We will teach them driving and will also help them get the driving license.”

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Tayub
    Apr 10, 2015 - 2:26PM

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

    The price of a CNG rickshaw is more like 1.5-2 lacs i.e. $1500 to $2000. Even with the paint job it shouldn’t be that expensive.Recommend

  • US CENTCOM
    Apr 10, 2015 - 6:17PM

    I think it is a great way to provide employment opportunities to females who are looking to earn income and staying independent. It is also good for the economy, and I see this concept really taking off.

    Ali Khan
    Digital Engagement Team, USCENTCOMRecommend

  • Allah Rukha
    Apr 10, 2015 - 6:51PM

    @Tayub:
    Well paint job is not the only difference this rickshaw has.The roof vent, fans, enlarged side view mirrors…..Only from the above pictures one can see those differences.Recommend

  • samad ch
    Apr 10, 2015 - 9:15PM

    why dont you make separate banks, roads, universities, cars, mobiles, every thing separate for the girls… its not empowering girls.. it just making them more a like slave… that there should be things exclusive for girls then it is empowering… pathetic minds… Recommend

  • Umair
    Apr 11, 2015 - 12:30AM

    @samadch
    For some bizarre and twisted reason i agree with you a 100%! Recommend

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