LAHORE - After cars and bikes, women in the Punjab capital are now aimed to become “Tuk Tuk Ranis” and earn a respectable living.

Travly, a company after catering digitalised booking for buses and Tuk Tuk Service (rickshaws) across the city, Tuk Tuk Rani is their latest project.

They have started training women, who wish to drive a rickshaw. These ladies belong to low strata but have broken all barriers to improve their living standards.

Travly is being run by a number of young graduates: Shahmir Khan co-founder CEO; Talaal Burny, co-founder and Chief Operations Officer, Mehmood Ali, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer; Faizan Khan, co-founder and Chief Financial Officer; Muhammad Zohaib, co-founder and Business Director; and Faisal Sherjan, Board Member Chief Strategy Officer.

CEO Shahmir Shah said they wanted to empower women. “This would not only help them to earn a respectable earning but also change the set trends of the society,” he told The Nation.

“Women in US, India and other parts of the world are riding bikes and driving buses. If they can do it why should our women stay behind in getting independent?” he further questioned.

Thirty women have been enrolled with the Tuk Tuk Rani session. The training is going to last for three months. They are divided in three groups presently; the first group is undergoing training these days.

These ladies are being told about traffic rules and precautionary measures. Expert rickshaw drivers are teaching them how to drive and maintain a rickshaw.

When people book a rickshaw on their digital app, Ranis would be informed. The one nearest to the location would be asked to pick up the client.

M Zohaib said after the completion of training these ladies would be given rickshaws. “It would have a panic button, in case they are harassed, they can push the button. The traffic police and our cell will be alerted and within minutes we will reach to help.

“We are working on a rickshaw design for the ladies security. Probably we may have front doors in it so they could lock it and feel safe.

“This service will be available for the people of DHA only and from morning to 6pm. In case they wish to drive after that time too they can. They would have the liberty of choosing their client,” he added.

The Travly team also mentioned that the ladies had to face a lot of backlash from home. Some even brought their brothers or husbands on the training but later they realised it was a safe environment.

Arshad Qazi, a father of three daughters, said he was happy that such a service was being introduced. “I am always worried when my daughters use random rickshaws, but this would release half of my stress,” said Mr Qazi who still fear for women drivers.

“People of Lahore lack manners and respect for ladies,” he stated.

M Shahid Adil, a rickshaw driver, said he would not encourage women to come in this profession because the society is not still willing to accept such steps. “They (masses) still do not realise why a woman gets out of the house to earn money,” he said.

Pakistani youth is bringing exemplary changes in the society, and Travly’s Tuk Tuk service is one of them. It has helped their enrolled rickshaw owners earn 100 percent more than what they were earning earlier.